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Kochs Agree with DFP: Trump Tariffs Terrible, White House “Divisive”

Oh, my head’s spinning, I feel like I’m going to barf… what’s going on? Did someone slip some water from downstream of a CAFO into my canteen?

No—I just read that I’m in agreement with the Koch Brothers on tariffs and trade:

In some of their sharpest criticism of the Trump administration, leaders of the influential political network associated with conservative billionaire Charles Koch slammed President Trump’s trade tariffs Saturday as “protectionism” that hurts American businesses and consumers.

“The divisiveness of this White House is causing long-term damage,” said Brian Hooks, one of Koch’s top deputies. “When in order to win on an issue, somebody else has to lose, it makes it very difficult to unite people to solve the problems of this country.

…In a video address shown to reporters Saturday, Charles Koch warned that acting “in protectionist ways” erects “barriers which make everyone worse off” [Fredreka Schouten, “Koch Officials: President Trump’s Trade Tariffs Hurt America,” USA Today, 2018.07.29].

Does that mean Americans for Prosperity will start pouring money into Democrats’ campaign coffers? They have spent some money to say nice things about North Dakota’s Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp for helping the deregulate banks. But South Dakota’s Democratic Congressional candidate, Tim Bjorkman, won’t take any special-interest money. And as for us down-ticket Democrats… well, the Kochs still ask for too much Republican corporatism for my taste:

During a seminar on Sunday titled “Transforming the network’s effectiveness” at the Koch network’s summit in Colorado Springs, Emily Seidel, the CEO of Americans for Prosperity, made it clear that working with Democrats will be on the table going forward — especially when it comes to reducing government spending and cutting back on financial regulations.

“I know this is uncomfortable,” Seidel told a group of donors and at least two GOP lawmakers who were sitting in the crowd. Koch network officials estimate there are approximately 500 donors attending this year’s conference.

“If you are a Democrat and stand up to [Senator] Elizabeth Warren to corral enough votes for financial reform that breaks barriers for community banks and families, you’re darn right we will work with you” [Brian Schwartz, “Charles Koch, Network Send GOP a Message: We’re Happy to Back Democrats Who Share Our Policy Goals,” CNBC, updated 2018.07.30].

I’ll put it this way: if Americans for Prosperity look at my record and decide I could help them make the case for free trade in the South Dakota Legislature (not that there’s much we can do about it, but every voice helps, right?), if we can find ways to work across the aisle to protect South Dakota farmers and workers from impulsive, ill-thought-out, and economically unsound trade policy, I’ll cash their check and work toward that shared goal. But I can only stomach so much Koch. If Americans for Prosperity want a Democrat who will fly out to Washington, D.C., right after the election on taxpayer dollars to be brainwashed by their pals at ALEC into more pro-corporate anarcho-capitalism, well, that’s Al Novstrup’s gig.


  1. jerry 2018-07-30 13:44

    Boy, China is really suffering from all of this winning, not. What China is doing is expanding their One Belt One Road into other Asian countries at the United States expense. Great business plan Comrades. Pitiful, but supported by Comrades NOem, Thune and Rounds with Comrade Dusty merrily agreeing as well. They all want to keep getting their hands on that free flow of money coming their way to give a care about anything but that.

    “The more the U.S. taxes Chinese electronics products, the better it is for Asian companies like his that have operations outside of China, Shen told Bloomberg News’s Cecilia Yap last week. Of course he’s talking his own book when he says that clients are very keen to hear about non-China manufacturing, especially with a Philippine IPO on the cards.

    Some investors have already taken notice of the fact that Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam stand as likely beneficiaries of the U.S.-China trade war.” Bloomberg

  2. Debbo 2018-07-30 15:57

    “If Americans for Prosperity want a Democrat who will fly out to Washington, D.C., right after the election on taxpayer dollars to be brainwashed by their pals at ALEC into more pro-corporate anarcho-capitalism, well, that’s Al Novstrup’s gig.”

    Drop the mic and walk away Cory.

  3. Debbo 2018-07-30 16:01

    While this is one piece of good news from the Kochs, they’re still bad for US democracy. They still want to own state governments, take money from the poor into their own pockets, turn the USA into their own little fiefdom, and damn those who have no bootstraps. Kochs still lacks morals and compassion. They are opposed to Tangerine Wankmaggot’s tariff fiasco because it does not suit their own interests, period.

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-07-30 20:04

    Thanks, Debbo! I’ll try to keep the hits coming.

    And you’re absolutely right that we mustn’t assume the Kochs have joined the revolution. Bernie Sanders would probably have argued against me on global trade and the Kochs would have been fighting him… even though Bernie’s tariffs would at least have had some logic and study behind them. The Kochs are looking out for their own wealth; we South Dakotans need to look out for ours. Fighting the Trump tariffs is one place where our interests intersect. If joining Koch pressure with our pressure helps speed the end of the Trump tariffs and/or the GOP House, then let’s join on this issue and get things done for everyone’s good.

  5. leslie 2018-07-30 22:33

    Suddenly GOP and Koch have stopped backing Trump. They have milked him for what they can. He is toast. Watch the spin come out. Koch already says he likes Latinos. Surrrrre!

    Let’s stop Bush staffer Kavenbach or whatever his name is, from being another right wing partisan valuless SCOTUS justice!

    There is NOTHING a Republican says that can be believed.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-07-31 05:30

    Even the Kochs realize that letting a Russian dupe dismantle the global market and America’s dominant position therein is bad for their business.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-07-31 07:52

    Now Trump says the Kochs are “a joke.” I love watching rich guys fight with each other.

    But even in this fight, Trump’s opponents are offering a rational assessment of the impacts of public policies, while Trump responds with personal attacks and defense of his own brittle ego.

  8. Dana P 2018-07-31 08:32

    When pigs wrestle in the mud with each other, they get muddier. Who will come out the muddiest in this mudfest?

  9. leslie 2018-07-31 08:52

    Wow Trump unravelling. He Just called the Koch Bros “a total joke among Republicans”.

    The GOP is in a “death spiral”, a “confusing nothingburger”.

    We must vote-out these treasonous clowns, overwhelmingly. All of them. Expose the 27 Koch orgs, institutions and think tanks undermining 99% of our democracy.

  10. mike from iowa 2018-07-31 09:25

    Marlboro Barbie, Rounds and Noem stated the obvious- Russia interfered with our elections. Now, what have they proposed to do about it except give out more taxcuts for the koch bros?

  11. jerry 2018-07-31 09:26

    Consumers will have to find job number 3 to keep up with Comrades trump/NOem/Thune/Rounds and by default, Comrade Dusty who is still enamoured by the sex goddess, Butina. Yes indeed, citizens will pay for the failed plans. Get in line consumers and by like the farmers, demand your bribe. There is still money left in the Depression Era program that the comrades have dug up. Let the bribery continue so you we can pay the higher costs. I am ready for some of the same kind of love, my checkbook beckons. The stock market must be fed. New York Times 7/31/2018

    “President Trump’s trade war is making life uncomfortable for some large American corporations, but they have found a way to reduce the pain: Pass it on to customers.

    The Trump administration’s tariffs have pushed up the prices of steel and aluminum and have raised costs for companies that make everything from cars and tractors to dishwashers. These companies face a choice. They can bear the higher costs themselves and report weaker profits, which might crater their stocks. Or they can charge more for their products, in effect making their customers bear much of the financial burden of the tariffs, at least for a while.
    Many companies are opting for the latter.
    As they report second-quarter earnings, they are going out of their way to let their shareholders know that it is customers who are paying.”

    More collusion so consumers won’t know how badly they are being hurt…Demand the bribe!

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