Koch brothers mania arrives at the Capitol
By Dana Milbank at The Washington Post
Kochmania came to the Capitol this week, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) screened clips in the Capitol Visitor Center of a new film by liberal documentarian Robert Greenwald, “Koch Brothers Exposed.”
The film, the screening of which Republicans claimed violated congressional regulations, purported to expose the “Kochtopus” of the conservative industrialists’ political spending. But while it’s easy enough to complain about the brothers’ political spending, it’s quite another thing to do something about the source of the Kochtopus’s contributions: the business empire that generated the Koch brothers’ fortune of $100 billion.
Some groups have proposed boycotts of Koch brothers’ products, but such efforts don’t seem to grasp how deeply the Koch tentacles extend into Americans’ daily lives – in ways the average consumer can’t possibly comprehend. Were they a single person, David and Charles would pass Bill Gates as the richest man in the world. Their holdings include oil, chemicals, manufacturing, minerals, fertilizers and a range of consumer products. Lycra in your bathing suit, undergarments or exercise clothing? Koch brothers. CoolMax fabric wicking sweat from your skin? Kochs. Stainmaster cleaning your carpet? Kochs again. Dacron fabric, Vanity Fair napkins, Angel Soft or Quilted Northern toilet paper, Brawny or Sparkle paper towels, Dixie cups? Koch, Koch, Koch, Koch, Koch, Koch and Koch.
To test the depths of Americans’ Koch dependency, I went to the screening with a shopping bag full of Koch products. I offered them as free samples after the screening of “Koch Brothers Exposed.” Even after hearing all of Greenwald’s allegations about the Koch brothers’ evils, the attendees made off with every last roll of Angel Soft and Brawny, and even took the Lycra pantyhose and the Dixie cups.
Even those who lament what the Kochs do with their money are contributors to the brothers’ fortune.