Stephen Goldstein: The Koch brothers are laughing at Americans

Almost everyone was waiting for their discredited heads to roll. And yet, the three most politically vulnerable governors in the United States were re-elected.

For most of four years, Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s policies hurt teachers and public schools, the poor, the disabled, the undocumented — just about every group except business interests. His approval ratings were consistently in the tank. And yet, once again, he was elected with less than 50 percent of the vote.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback rode to victory, even though he lost the support of key Republicans as his economic policies virtually bankrupted his state.

And Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker continued to implement draconian policies, from destroying unions to suppressing the vote, that should have guaranteed he would be drummed out of office.

Predictably, TV talking heads are chewing the fat about the causes of such confounding successes. Obscene billions of dollars poisoning the airwaves. Voter suppression. Backlash against Obama by Democratic candidates and voters. Normal mid-term voter apathy. Mrs. O’Leary’s cow!

It’s all of the above — but, more importantly, the Koch Brothers, stupid! They scored a trifecta with Scott, Brownback and Walker and control about 60 percent of the country through the 29 state legislatures and 31 governorships in Republican hands.

Of course, The Koch Corporate States ain’t what our Founding Fathers bargained for. Take Scott’s Florida agenda as an example of what will intensify in Kansas and Wisconsin and throughout the nation.

The re-election of Gov. Rick Scott will hasten the aggressive dismantling of government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Florida will be turned into a total corporate state, a cash-cow for crony capitalists. The prime goal is to cut (preferably eliminate) corporate taxes and defang (preferably eliminate) regulation. Forget all of Scott’s promises of increased funding for education and the environment. Forget Medicaid expansion and efforts to increase health insurance coverage.

All political and public-policy decisions will be made to increase the profits of business interests, Scott’s and the Tea Party-GOP’s cronies. Every possible state service and asset will be handed over to for-profit interests.

Tax dollars will be lavished on corporations that promise to bring jobs to Florida, whether they do so or not. By the end of Scott’s term, the economic raping of the state will be complete.

And the Kochs? With a vengeance, they’ll be plotting to remake the Florida Supreme Court in their image, having failed once before.

Of course, to keep the radical right-wing engaged, expect more denial of climate change, expansion of guns, increased restrictions on abortion, obstruction of same-sex marriage and LGBT rights (no matter how the Supreme Court rules).

The Koch-GOP agenda ain’t a pretty picture. But, if you really have the stomach to process what average Americans will have to endure living in The Koch Corporate States, steel yourself and read my novel Atlas Drugged: Ayn Rand Be Damned! Dismiss it as ideologically driven fiction at your peril.

The only hope is that things will get so bad that average Americans will finally wake up and see that they were “had.” But, then again, they just had their chance.

Stephen L. Goldstein is the author of “The Dictionary of American Political Bullshit” and “Atlas Drugged: Ayn Rand Be Damned.” He lives in Fort Lauderdale. Column courtesy of Context Florida.


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