Mar 8, 2014
How the Right Wing Manipulated the Government Into a Shutdown
Posted on Oct 6, 2013
We all knew the right wing was organized. But The New York Times on Saturday dives deeply into the machinations—mostly scripted by Koch brothers-funded groups—that led to the government shutdown, revealing a deeply cynical campaign to effectively undermine the American democratic process.
The focal point is the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare—but the real target, as usual, is the Obama presidency itself. The campaign began with a secret meeting of right-wing power brokers, led in part by Ed Meese, Ronald Reagan’s attorney general until he resigned in the midst of the Wedtech scandal, that was held somewhere in Washington, D.C. Participants, in cloak-and-dagger style, declined to tell the Times reporters where they met.
Republican legislators who refused to go along, or balked, found themselves on the target end of ad campaigns in their home districts. Some are now facing tea party challengers from the right in primary campaigns—often the only campaign that matters in gerrymandered districts.
The Tea Party Patriots group offers an online “toolkit,” including “sample Tweets,” for activists to work to defund Obamacare, a law that was passed by both chambers of Congress, signed into law by President Obama, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and for which citizens began registering last week. Who funds the Tea Party Patriots? The shadowy and Koch-tied Freedom Partners, whose members pay $100,000 to belong, and which an earlier Politico piece suggests exists primarily to destabilize the U.S. government by pushing it toward some sort of Randian utopia—a past that never really existed. The president is Marc Short, who came out of the shadows (ahead of a required public tax filing for the group) for an interview with Politico:
Yet all remain unidentified, a secret cabal spending hundreds of millions of dollars to bend the nation’s political machinery to their will in what their mouthpiece calls “a free society in America.”
Free, apparently, if you have the wealth to buy the democratic results you want.
—Posted by Scott Martelle.
Previous item: Can Stress Lead to Dementia?
New and Improved Comments