The multi-billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David, have waded deep into the 2016 presidential election with their pledge to spend a staggering $889 million on candidates who espouse their government-limiting views.
The promise threw Democrats into a tizzy, leveling charges that the Kochs are buying the presidency, but Rich Lowry
, editor of the National Review, writing an opinion piece in Politico, doesn't see the Kochs as the big-money right-wing ogres the left makes them out to be.
"The left is so invested in trying to find a way to squeeze them (the Kochs) out of the political process because it instinctively hates anything being unregulated, including political activity in a free society," Lowry writes.
"Also, its attitude is 'influence for me, but not for thee.' The left, by and large, owns the media, academia, the big foundations and Hollywood. Compared with all of that priceless political and cultural influence, the spending of the Koch network is a pittance."
The Kochs' announcement will kick Democrat fundraising into high gear, The New York Times notes
. Referring to the Kochs as "the Democrats' favored punching bags," the Times comments that in the last presidential campaign, the entire Republican Party spent just $657 million, or over $200 million less than the Kochs have budgeted for 2016, indicating that an even bigger financial race for the White House officially is on.
"The Kochs' efforts will put enormous fundraising pressure on Democrats and liberal outside groups. Allies of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who appears to be preparing for a likely presidential campaign in 2016, expect that she will need to bring in more money than President Obama, the most successful fund-raiser in presidential history," the Times notes.
The Koch's announcement "freaked out Democrats, outraged so-called campaign-finance reformers and inspired hand-wringing about the future of Earth," Lowry writes.
"The despair is misplaced. One sign it is still a free country is that a band of like-minded people, devoted to principles they consider essential to the country's thriving, can get together and try to effect them in public policy.
"The left always wants to paint the brothers as self-interested, to better fit the stereotype of the robber baron distorting government for his own ends.
"But the Koch brothers are the rare breed of businessmen who don't seek special favors from government, who in fact oppose them on principle. They are capitalists who hate crony capitalism.
"The libertarian paradise that they seek would put out of business the government affairs offices of major corporations and be the worst thing to happen to lobbyists who make a living on obscure but valuable changes in Washington's byzantine tax and regulatory system.
"The Kochs would be freer of government regulation — but so would everyone else," Lowry commented.
"The brothers will remain arch-villains, regardless. It is the Koch brothers who are the target. So they will remain as long as they continue to so prominently represent and advocate for a free society."
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