Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has recently launched an attack on the Koch Brothers, the source of a lot of cash in the conservative/libertarian world and the backers of Americans for Prosperity, which is running a lot of Obamacare-related ads against vulnerable Senate Dems.
This has actually been going on quite a while, but Reid has drawn a lot of attention this time by calling them “un-American.” This is, of course, amusing, and stupid, and it appears to be crack for gullible Democratic small-dollar donors, if the Koch-related fundraising emails I get from various lists are any indication.
But Jim Manley, Reid’s former longtime chief-of-staff, points out on Buzzfeed today why they do it:
“There’s no downside to any elected official in this country attacking the Koch brothers. None, zero, zip,” said Jim Manley, a former Reid aide and Democratic strategist. “You always need a foil, and it’s taken a while for Democrats to get to this, but they are as good as any a foil given their efforts to buy elections left and right in this country.”
Okay, fair enough. But by the same token, it’s hard to see how this will be effective. In fact, it sounds a lot more like an excuse-in-advance for why they’re going to lose the Senate than anything else. Recall that in 2010, Democrats made a huge PR push about “secret foreign money” coming into and buying U.S elections — an allegation whose truth value was exactly zero. This is the 2014 version of that.