I recently took a two-day trip down to Palm Springs to attend an event called “Uncloaking the Kochs” hosted by Common Cause. Accompanied by my dear friend, former assembly candidate Alvaro Day, I traveled as an independent investigative journalist, and not in any official capacity on behalf of Big Government or Breitbart.com (though I was pleasantly surprised to run into a familiar friend of mine on rollerblades jovially inviting everyone to Applebee’s).
Among Common Cause’s, well, common causes, are campaign finance reform, net neutrality, outlawing the filibuster, promoting cap and trade, and in this particular case, herding a mass of protesters outside a nearby hotel to yell at Charles and David Koch for being conservative and rich.
Unfortunately several “haves” have missed the memo that you’re not to be both rich and conservative at the same time, and that bankrolling your pet causes is an extra no-no if you’re conservative–thus exempting left-wing billionaire philanthropists George Soros (from whom Common Cause has received $2 million over the past eight years) Peter Lewis, John Doerr, Julian Robertson, Nicolas Berggruen, and many others from being yelled at too.
At the morning panel event featuring UCI Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, activist Jim Hightower, Center for American Progress journalist and “Koch Brothers expert” Lee Fang, California Nurses Association co-president DeAnn McEwan, and President Obama’s former green jobs czar Van Jones, we were forewarned of the impending demise of both the environment and democracy at the hands of corporate lobbyists and their government shills.
There was eerily no mention of GE, AEP, Goldmann Sachs, Pfizer, Aetna, Alcoa, Xerox, Google, Motorola, IBM, or several other corporate giants who profit at taxpayer expense via their K Street connections to the Obama White House as well as the very economic and regulatory policies they lobby that these Common Cause panelists commonly endorse. But I’m sure that’s only because no one wanted to point out the obvious. Right?
We were then ushered outside to the parking lot across from the hotel in which the Koch brothers were holding a meeting, whereupon we were encouraged to yell at the building, decrying not only the Kochs, but Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia for their Citizens United ruling. Oh, and Fox News while we were at it.
We were joined by at least half a dozen busloads of public sector union members and common demonstrators from AFFCE, The Ruckus Society, 350, Greenpeace, Code Pink, and the Progressive Democrats of America, among others, without whose valuable contributions to the yelling, the rally would’ve been just a lousy bust. Video camera in hand, I purposely engaged them to get beyond their programmed talking points, only to find some rather colorful agenda items – particularly for Justice Thomas.
In post-Tucson America, where for the past few weeks a chorus of voices on the left have amplified their attacks on the “racist tea party,” “racist conservatives,” “racist Republicans,” and their “violent, irresponsible rhetoric” to the degree of accomplice-to-murder accusations, I figured a left-wing rally such as this would also be a demonstration of the left’s ideal, self-proclaimed rhetorical composure.
And having done extensive video coverage interviewing demonstrators in over fifty tea parties in forty-five cities in twenty-five states yet finding a total of zero instances of the “racist” and “violent” stigmas the left relentlessly assures us are true, I certainly didn’t expect to find almost every imaginable instance at one single “progressive” rally. But who was I to make presumptions?
So if on top of perpetuating the perennial narrative of the exclusively right-wing corporatist machine, “progressives” want to further their accusations of alleged predominant “racism” and “violence-baiting rhetoric” in the conservative movement, then game on.