You might remember that earlier this summer, the political network tied to the libertarian billionaire Charles Koch got a spate of press for its decision to run an ad supporting conservative North Dakota Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp. Later, Americans for Prosperity president Tim Phillips said that it was withholding support from her opponent, Congressman Kevin Cramer, because he wasn’t “leading on the issues where this country needs leadership the most right now.”
The feeble protest soon drew the ire of President Donald Trump, who did some tweets:
If you were ready to welcome Koch and Americans for Prosperity to the #Resistance, however, you should slow your roll. CNBC reported on Monday that AFP unveiled a new super PAC ahead of November called Americans For Prosperity Action.
“Americans for Prosperity has been a difference-maker supporting policy champions in tight races, and AFP Action is a new tool that will allow us to expand those efforts and make an even larger impact,” Bill Riggs, a spokesman for the PAC, told CNBC.
While the PAC isn’t officially affiliated with any party, CNBC notes that AFP’s hand-wringing about not supporting the party that cavorts with white nationalists has meant fuck all where it counts:
Still, even though AFP leadership said at its last seminar in July that it is open to backing Democrats, the nonprofit has since advocated only for Republican candidates. That push included eight endorsements for GOP lawmakers running for re-election to the House. Election analysts have pegged Democrats as favorites to seize the House majority from Republicans this fall.
The Koch network, which is led by billionaire industrialist and philanthropist Charles Koch, has also targeted Democrats in key Senate races. The group recently spent nearly $6 million on attack ads against three Democratic candidates, including Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Claire McCaskill of Missouri. Republicans hold a 51-49 advantage in the Senate, and are expected to pick up some seats as 10 Democrats from states Trump won are up for re-election.
It should not be a surprise to anyone that the right wing Republicans who helped set the conditions for Trump’s rise but now pretend to be disgusted by him are helping to ensure that he still has a unified government to carry out his agenda. A Republican Congress guarantees that there will continue to be zero investigation of the litany of corrupt and inhumane things that the government has done over the past year and a half, not least of which are the fascist immigration policies the Kochs claim to oppose.
This isn’t to say that Democrats should be seeking out money fro rich conservative billionaires; Heitkamp herself recognized that “Koch Democrat” isn’t a good tag to be stuck with. But if groups like Americans for Prosperity really had a vested interest in making Trump less powerful, the very least they could do is sit this one out.