Prayer for Koch Industries, Is Capitalism the New Religion of the Religious Right?
Compared to say anyone on Fox News, or other right wing media, particularly of the Rupert Murdoch owned variety, or pundit entertainers like Rush Limbaugh, or the majority of the right wing blogosphere, Bloomberg does a competent job of being factual. I have no doubt whatsoever that Bloomberg is going to proceed with extra care when going up against Koch Industries, who have 'deep pockets'. The political right is notoriously litigious.
Not that Bloomberg is either a Democrat or a liberal; while he started out as a Democrat in the last millennium, he's been a Republican through most of the past decade, including his political career, before switching from being a Republican to an Independent in 2007.
So while the New York mayor and media mogul is not anywhere as far right as the Koch brothers (well, two out of three of them anyway), he is a fairly centrist individual with some respectable Republican credentials.
So it was with that in mind that I perused with great skepticism the following email (redacted to preserve the privacy of the sender) which I am assured did in fact come directly from the wife of a Koch employee rather than as a chain email:
In my usual interest in fact checking, I have not only begun my own fact check effort, but also forwarded this on, including the linked page, to politifact.com, in the hopes they will take a whack at fact checking BOTH Bloomberg and the Koch Industries claims.
Which, should they take up the challenge, I will of course post here.
I'm hoping I might tempt my mikeb co-blogger, Laci, into working with me, on my own efforts; because this might be beyond my own humble resources. I'm hoping Laci's background might be uniquely suited to the international and legal aspects, but I also respect that his time is valuable and there are many other demands on it.
But most of all, I was struck by what amounts to a new religion that equates greed to god, and predatory capitalism to patriotism and representative democracy. Beyond the specific challenges over fact are the extremely disturbing Libertarian leaning assumptions about economics, government, religion, and most of all, the presumption that other Americans who disagree with their extreme right wing positions ARE THE ENEMY. That word was used specifically; the author of this email sees people like me, like Pen, like Laci as their ENEMY rather than simply people who differ from them.
The sheer intolerance of that, the paranoiac world view of that passage is deeply disturbing to me. That it might very well derive, in the case of the email, from a misleading representation of the facts by Koch Industries is equally disturbing.
This represents a kind of political engagement that was new in the days of the so-called moral majority in the 90's - a group of people who were neither particularly moral, nor any kind of majority, and it has continued to evolve as the religious right during the 2000s. And by evolve, what I really mean is to become more extreme and more intolerant and less reality based. In other words, crazier than they were before.
So I am contemplating this fact check endeavor as a push-back against the intolerant, against the bogus religious associations of greed and God, and against the unwarranted paranoia of the right represented by this email.
I'm tempted to begin with a prayer for the prosecution - and even for a little persecution to happen TO the Koch Brothers and Koch Industries, for my personal inspiration and as a touch of humor to the otherwise dry business of fact checking.