"Permit me an impertinent question (or three).
Suppose a small group of extremely wealthy people sought to systematically destroy the U.S. government by (1) finding and bankrolling new candidates pledged to shrinking and dismembering it; (2) intimidating or bribing many current senators and representatives to block all proposed legislation, prevent the appointment of presidential nominees, eliminate funds to implement and enforce laws, and threaten to default on the nation's debt; (3) taking over state governments in order to redistrict, gerrymander, require voter IDs, purge voter rolls, and otherwise suppress the votes of the majority in federal elections; (4) running a vast PR campaign designed to convince the American public of certain big lies, such as climate change is a hoax, and (5) buying up the media so the public cannot know the truth.
Would you call this treason?
If not, what would you call it?
And what would you do about it?"
-- Robert Reich
Reich's point is taken, if not eloquently stated. Points 4 and 5 appear to make clear he is talking about the Koch brothers seeing as they were just involved in a fight over whether a major utility company in GA would be required to use more solar power. Ironically, some teabaggers in the state were fighting against him on this issue (the Koch's lost). The boys are also known to be potential bidders for a large newspaper company.
Reich conflates a number of issues which I think is a mistake. He needs to bring his complaint in to more focus, not concentrating so much on the Koch's political agenda but the manner in which they are allowed to pursue it. Are efforts to suppress the vote and gerrymandering districts (Google "Red Map") antithetical to representative democracy? Yes. Did the purge of a targeted group of voters from the voter rolls in FL effect the outcome of the 2000 presidential election? Almost certainly. But the greater harm comes from the empowerment to influence elections ceded to them by a highly politicized SC, willing to make a mockery of established precedent and eager to legislate from the bench. The anonymous bankrolling of both candidates and issues in an era when a power vacuum has been created by voter ignorance and apathy is a very dangerous condition. One people like the Koch's and others bent on advancing corporate interests over those of the people have taken full advantage of.
If the Koch's want to advocate for smaller government from a philosophical position I have no problem with that. But the public needs to know what they are doing in order to advance their agenda. Money had corrupted politics to a dangerous extent already, Citizens United has thrown open the floodgates and needs to be repealed if we have any chance of repairing the system.
" (4) running a vast PR campaign designed to convince the American public of certain big lies, such as climate change is a hoax, and (5) buying up the media so the public cannot know the truth."
You really have to wonder how someone who sits on the faculty of a once-great university can come up such goofy, myopic statements. It's equally clear that Kathleen Sibelius, with her efforts to have the NBA and the NFL and NASCAR push the wonderful aspects of 0bamacare is an attempt to create a "vast PR campaign" and the fact that as 0bamacare slowly crumbles into the pathetic piece of total infeasibility that it is (hey, we passed it and now we found out what's in it) and that EACH AND EVERY promise made when this turd was sold to US is now clearly shown to be a lie. Now, taxpayers can pay for the PR campaign for a failed program that will, in contrast to the selling points: 1: RAISE personal healthcare costs while offering fewer options and lower quality of care, and 2: You WON'T be able to keep your doctor (nor 3: your healthcare coverage) if you like him/her/it because the requirements of 0care require additional staff and overhead just to conform to the reporting requirements. And we WILL be paying for those 16,000 add'l IRS agents, and yes, all those "navigators", the people who are going to be hired to sit in libraries to tell people about how they can sign up for 0care. It is beyond clear that every cost estimate was lowballed just to get it under that magic "$1 trillion" figure. But the more lies this admin tells, the more the supporters like it. Very cool.
(5) buying up the media so the public cannot know the truth. This is really idiotic. The Koch brothers have every right to buy up the LA Times if they are silly enough to want to. And suppose they did? That would mean that abc, cbs, CNN, MSNBC, aren't still there with their leftist spew for those who want that kind of goodballism? "The truth". Yeah, we can only get that from the LA Times. Got it.
There is a very, very telling and very simple, yet absolutely critical thing you might think about wrt Reich's little panty-rant that might provide some insight into how those "other" people think.
When the people who supposedly represent us take their oaths of office upon being sworn in...it is not "the government" they pledge allegiance to. It is the US Constitution. So, when a little deviant twerp like Robt Reich complains mightily about these evil people who are apparently undermining and working against the GOVERNMENT, you should take that in the context that they NEVER SAID they swore to uphold THE GOVERNMENT but instead, swore to uphold the "Constitution" of the "United States of America" . In other words; the founding document (1 of two) and the nation, as an entity. The "government" which is comprised of temporary custodians of various offices, including the president, including every member of Congress, and every appointee made by the president...including SCOTUS justices. See, Reich cannot tell the difference.
This makes him a goofball. Very simple.
This is like having someone tell you they'll be at your place at 6 o'clock and you get #$%$ when they're not there at 4:30. There is no connection between your disappointment and what was promised to you. Now if that happened.....who would you say is the delusional one? The one who arrived when they said they would; or the one who is upset when what was never promised doesn't happen the way they want it and they throw a temper tantrum that should embarass a three year old?
I would call those the delusional musings of a little guy who belongs in a dwarf-tossing contest. Rewritten:
Suppose a small group of extremely wealthy people sought to systematically destroy the U.S. government by (1) finding and bankrolling new candidates pledged to expanding and increasing its powers far beyond the chartering documents the candidates pledged/swore to uphold when they were sworn into office (2) intimidating or bribing many current senators and representatives to block all proposed legislation, (this is nonsense, plenty of bills have been passed, but this little twerp has to climb up on a milk carton or something to draw attention to himself, otherwise if he has evidence better than his damp undergarments, let him bring it forward) to prevent the appointment of presidential nominees appointed by artifice in violation, again, of the Constitution, during a time when Congress was actually IN session; Eliminate funds to implement and enforce laws, when they should be placed into the hands of wealthy supporters who open up fake solar plants; and threaten to default on the nation's debt by refusing to borrow more money than is already owed when we are already borrowing 43 cents of every dollar spent; (3) taking over state governments in order to redistrict, gerrymander, require voter IDs, purge voter rolls, and otherwise suppress the votes of the majority in federal elections
reduce size of federal government- patriotic
find new candidates- patriotic
require photo i.d. for voting- patriotic
bribing senators- simply prove it