Can anything Think Progress says about the Kochs be believed? 

Almost certainly not, to answer the question posed by the headline above. Here's the latest example of why.

Think Progress is all atwitter about a Nation magazine report concerning the Koch Industries 2010 Election Packet. This dastardly document, according to Think Progress, was "mailed to 50,000 employees instructing them on who to vote for in the 2010 midterm elections."

Curious, I clicked over to the Nation and read the cover letter in the packet. Here's what it said about how Koch employees should decide for whom to vote:

"For most of you, we've also enclosed a listing of candidates supported by Koch companies and KOCHPAC, the political action committee for Koch companies. Of course, deciding who to vote for is a decision that is yours and yours alone, based on factors important to you. (emphasis added)"

Funny, that reads to me like Koch encouraged its employee to make up their own minds. How does Think Progress get from that statement by Koch to anything remotely resembling the liberal propaganda tank's description of Koch "instructing" its employees how to vote?

Well, there are two possible explanations here. First, they either invented it or imagined it. Since I shudder to think that any respectable Washingon think tank would simply make it up, we can dismiss that possibility out of hand, right? No, come on now, right?

Which leaves us with the only other possibility - they know that's what those evil Koch brothers really meant way down deep in their black hearts - vote our way or else, you worthless wretches of the sweat shop - because, well, they're the Kochs and they're evil capitalists, so that must be what they meant! Besides, Think Progress would assure us, only the naive would believe the Kochs actually meant for employees to make up their own minds.

This is an example of conspiracy thinking. Or perhaps derangement. Your call.

There is one "positive" here in that this episode exemplifies what's at stake in the continuing campaign begun by the Left in the wake of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision upholding the First Amendment. Liberals have been beside themselves ever since trying to figure out another way to bring down the full force of the federal government to silence people like Charles and David Koch.

And what that proves is that these same liberals don't really believe in equality because they are determined to create a second class of citizenship with less than the full protection of the First Amenment to the Constitution.

Next, we will hear from Think Progress that yours truly is a paid tool of the evil Kochs. For the record, I've talked to Charles Koch twice, once for an Examiner profile that I was glad to write, and once at the Palm Springs conference he hosted a couple of years ago. I have never met David Koch.

Neither Charles nor David Koch are rent-seekers who depend upon government subsidies for a major portion of their revenue stream, as is the case with companies like General Electric, whose chairman, Jeffrey Immelt, heads President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

And if either of the Kochs ever starts acting like Immelt, I will be the first to cry foul.

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Mark Tapscott

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