Lee Fang of Think Progress was able to surprise David Koch after the swearing-in of his newly-minted House of Representatives last week for this impromptu man-on-the-street interview. The interview is posted in three parts, but Part One captures just how arrogant, uppity, and callous this man is. The other guy is Tim Phillips, who desperately tries to become a human shield for that most dangerous thing of all: the interview.
You have to watch the video to really catch the ebullience Koch has for his new Congress. He's nearly beside himself with joy.
TP: Hi sir, I’m Lee Fang. I’m with the blog ThinkProgress. I’m just asking what you’re expecting from the new Congress under Speaker Boehner?
KOCH: Well, cut the hell out of spending, balance the budget, reduce regulations, and uh, support business.
PHILLIPS: Hey David, Lee here is a good blogger on the left, we’re glad to have him–TP: Just a quick interview. Are you proud of what Americans for Prosperity has achieved this year?
KOCH: You bet I am, man oh’ man. We’re going to do more too in the next couple of years, you know.
TP: What are you planning on doing. What are your goals?
KOCH: I just told you what we hope the Congress will do and AFP is going to support that.
TP: I’m curious to know, Mr. Koch, are you proud of what the Tea Party movement and what they’ve achieved in the past years–
KOCH: Yeah. There are some extremists there, but the rank and file are just normal people like us. And I admire them. It’s probably the best grassroots uprising since 1776 in my opinion.
This interview was done long before the events of Saturday unfolded. But Koch's casual toss-off of the "extremists" in the Tea Party is telling, particularly given the strenuous denials we're all hearing now. Like the way his 'grass roots' characterization seems to affirm astroturf as an organic thing, at least in the mind of David Koch? And hey -- it's totally fine with Koch to have an extremist or two in the mix as long as the whole thing is dag-gone grassrootsy and populated with "normal people like [him]." Funny thing. I haven't met even one single normal person in my entire life who is also a billionaire who spends millions and millions trying to defeat political opponents. But that's just me, I guess.
Let's consider those few "extremists". We have extremist Sharron Angle, with her "2nd Amendment remedies." Then there's "extremist" Sarah Palin, loading and reloading. Then there's lower-profile but still destructive extremists like Dana Loesch and Bill Hennessy. If this video isn't bone-chilling and visceral evidence of extreme speech and views, I'm not sure what is.
Maybe David Koch wants to rethink his characterization of them as grass roots. I'm more inclined to think of them as "dry brush". The kind that ignites and destroys everything in its path.