Update, 9:00 PM: Common Cause issued a formal “apology” for the vile behavior of its rally attendees, a statement thoroughly deconstructed by James Taranto, who concludes with the zinger: “For the sake of truth in advertising, Common Cause should change its name to Hypocrisy Hub.” Ouch. That’s going to leave a mark.
Independent new media journalist Christian Hartsock has a compelling piece up at Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government blog. Hartsock went to cover an event sponsored by the Progressive group Common Cause. The goal seemingly was to organize a grassroots protest of the pro-free market billionaire Koch Brothers and conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas for some imaginary collusion on the Citizens United decision, and who knows what else.
Hartsock’s four-minute video (which the Wall Street Journal‘s James Taranto labels “devastating”) poignantly captures a rich example of unintentional irony and psychological projection exhibited by the Left:
White pro-Common Cause activists calling for the lynching of a black man (“string him up,” “hang him”) apparently is OK if their group has prominently denounced the “racist Tea Party” first. Not to mention, as Hartsock points out, the silliness of Common Cause’s anti-Koch Brother rhetoric while a whole litany of ultra-wealthy figures give abundant cash to Left-leaning political causes. Self-serving? Yes. Good luck finding a mainstream conservative group that denounces any of the rich Lefties (such as our own Tim Gill and Pat Stryker, here in Colorado) as “enemies of democracy” who should be silenced.
Which brings me to the interesting local angle of this story. In a conference call last week leading up to Common Cause’s “Uncloaking the Kochs” event, my own employer the Independence Institute got dragged into the fray. So reported Daniel Halper on the Weekly Standard blog:
Van Jones’s Center for American Progress colleague Lee Fang couldn’t hold back, injecting himself into the debate Edgar had wanted to silence: “We’re fundamentally different than they are,” Fang said, referring to the conservative Koch brothers.
“We’re not like the Independence Institute organizing Tea Parties, for any partisan sense either,” Fang went on, ignoring the fact that the Center for American Progress has served as a feeder organization for the Obama administration and that its chief, John Podesta, himself led the presidential transition for Barack Obama…. [emphasis added]
Positively inspirational. Halper went on to deconstruct Common Cause’s seemingly high-minded concern for transparency. But it truly was an encouraging surprise to see my employer singled out for the effective work we do (I.I. is pretty lean and mean, too).
In any case, this sudden fascination that the Left has with the Koch brothers is really fascinating to behold. They’ve shifted a lot of attention away from debating and defending the issues, and are primarily focused on a massive power play in 2012. And in true Alinsky style, they are taking the lesson of “Pick the target, Freeze it, Personalize it and Polarize it” (keying in on the Koch brothers) to pursue their agenda. Unfortunately for the Left, as the great work done by Hartsock and others shows, their plan is backfiring rather than gaining traction.