Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

Ellison must read
• May 16, 2014 9:31 am


My must read of the day is "Reid, Pelosi to attend Koch movie screening," in Politico:

The Koch brothers are headed to the big screen—and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are coming along for the ride.

The two congressional Democratic leaders will appear at a screening in the Capitol of "Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition"—a documentary that Senate Majority Leader Reid (D., Nev.) participated in. Both Reid and Minority Leader Pelosi (D., Calif.) will participate in a question and answer session as well.

Earlier this week I received a colorful envelope from "Friends of Bernie Sanders." I opened it and saved it, because I had a slight inkling I would want it later. Apparently my sister saw it on the counter, and threw it away because she thought it "looked like trash." I can’t say I blame her, but unfortunately I cannot remember verbatim what the letter or envelope said. I do remember it had to do with the Kochs. The outside of the envelope had a photo of Sanders and the background was what I imagine is a scenic image of Vermont. It said something about how Sanders was standing up for you against the terrible Koch brothers.

If I lived in Vermont and saw that the Koch brothers were the focus of my senator—so much so that he felt the need to send me a letter about it, I’d be quite agitated.

Not long ago Republicans were routinely criticized for being the "party of no"—common wisdom, amongst political analysts, was that in the long term this perception was a hindrance for the party—it was better to be for something than against something. I thought then, and think now, that this is accurate and it’s not a notion that’s unique or confined to one party.

So what do Sanders, Reid or Pelosi prove by despising the Kochs? Absolutely nothing. All it does is appease a group of elites who actually care about campaign fundraising because they’re involved in it.

If hating the Kochs makes for an effective tactic to convince that group of rich people to give you even more money, great, but just own it, because the idea that this is somehow a productive use of time or a way to protect constituents is utterly ridiculous. Yet, that’s all we hear from the Democratic Party’s leadership.

News flash: Unemployment is still over 6 percent, and annual job growth rates have not moved beyond 2 percent throughout the recovery.

If I lived in any of these states, I’d prefer to see my lawmaker take questions at a town hall and tell me how they’re working to fix the economy and embolden job growth rather than spend an evening taking questions from people at an anti-Koch movie screening.