As the group emerges as a dominant force in the 2014 midterm elections, spending up to 10 times as much as any major outside Democratic group so far, officials of the organization say their effort is not confined to hammering away at President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.Here's the Achilles heel of the Kochs: they imagine that because their effort appeals to the one percent, it's the silver bullet for appealing to everyone. That's an assumption that even House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has belatedly realized is a problem for his party.
“We have a broader cautionary tale,” said Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity. “The president’s out there touting billions of dollars on climate change. We want Americans to think about what they promised with the last social welfare boondoggle and look at what the actual result is.”
Leaders of the effort say it has great appeal to the businessmen and businesswomen who finance the operation and who believe that excess regulation and taxation are harming their enterprises and threatening the future of the country. The Kochs, with billions in holdings in energy, transportation and manufacturing, have a significant interest in seeing that future government regulation is limited.
Strong majorities of everyone but Republicans support the regulations that keep the food, water, and air we consume clean, our workplaces and cars and prescription drugs safe. At the same time, strong majorities of everyone but Republicans want the government to fight inequality and to impose higher taxes on corporations. All of this is antithetical to what the Kochs are fighting for.
All of which makes the Kochs the perfect villain for Democrats to run against, with the advantage that they truly are villainous. Democrats know it, running ads in Louisiana and Alaska showing the local effects of the Kochs' anti-government crusade. This election has to be about the Republicans vs. the economic interests of everyone else, and the Kochs are making that very easy.