Just like with the hospital donation a couple weeks ago, libertarians are twitterpated that the Kochs donated to the United Negro College Fund. But they're not just excited, they've (or at least half a dozen reasonably well known libertarians with an internet presence on my facebook feed) been making big pronouncements about leftist critics of the UNCF donation. I am still not sure exactly who these leftist critics are. In trolling through I can only find Dan Bier linking to "#Koch" on Twitter, and when I click on it (as I write this) I only see one person in the top results even mentioning the UNCF donation critically (and to be fair to that twitterer they're actually not criticizing the donation at all they're using the opportunity to criticize the Kochs). So none of this seems like the groundswell of opposition some libertarians are implying (which makes sense, because to be honest it seems a little stupid to expect a groundswell of criticism), but the fact is it is out there in today's news cycle at least.
I always find this strange. I don't personally mind the UNCF donation at all or the hospital donation. In fact I wish they gave all their donations to those sorts of things. The world would be a better place if they did. But even though I don't mind that, I can still have a sour view on the Kochs. I don't see why the sorts of libertarians that react to this have such a hard time grasping that what we don't like about the Kochs is not their good donations but their bad donations.
Second, whenever this comes up libertarians love to drone on about how the Kochs support gay marriage and oppose the drug war. I also find this reaction strange too. First nobody criticizes the Kochs for that presumably because that's not what they have a problem with. Second, do libertarians ever suddenly decide that leftists are a good influence on American society because they support the gay marriage and oppose the drug war? Of course not. So why would they expect liberals to suddenly warm up to the Kochs because they finally got something right on those issues?
Third, the only place I ever hear about the Kochs' support for gay marriage and the drug war is from libertarians. The really huge, well publicized stuff from the Kochs seems to be oppositions to progressive taxation, health reform, progress on climate change, and of course their support for libertarian leaning academic economics, political science, philosophy, etc. Maybe it's all selection effect (i.e. - the media only chooses to report on that stuff), but there are plenty of competing media outlets and the Kochs have the resources to push their own priorities. So chances are the Kochs care a lot more about those things that we hear about outside of libertarian defense pieces than they do about gay marriage or ending the drug war.
For the Weekend...
2 hours ago