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Is Koch money following or orchestrating the public mood?

The Koch brothers are back in the national political news, this time for sponsoring a confidential meeting of wealthy donors and free-market activists at a Palm Springs resort in January. The purpose of the meeting is to plan for the next election and "to review strategies for combating the multitude of public policies that threaten to destroy America as we know it," according to an invitation letter signed by Charles Koch.The Kochs have become a favorite target of Democrats this election season, with critics claiming that the tea party movement is being orchestrated by the billionaire brothers. But New York Times columnist Ross Douthat noted that "the Kochs have been seeding libertarian causes since Barack Obama was a community organizer, without ever conjuring up anything remotely like the tea party. Attributing the anti-Democratic backlash to their machinations is a bit like blaming George Soros for Bush-era opposition to the Iraq war: in both cases, it's more likely that the money is following the public mood than the other way around."

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