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Assault on America, Day 238: What do David Koch & Ruth Bader Ginsburg have in common?

David Koch Sloan Kettering
“I knew a man once who said, ‘Death smiles at us all. All that man can do is smile back.’”

Some may recognize the famous quote from the 2000 movie classic Gladiator, but the immortal words of wisdom are just as relevant in our times as they were in the fantastic Oscar-winning cinematic portrait of ancient Rome. Mortality is what it is, and culture ebbs and flows, but the left’s reaction to the recent passing of conservative billionaire philanthropist David Koch was over-the-top by anyone’s estimation. Tasteless is too kind of a term to describe the absurd grave-dancing that took place on Twitter -- and on late-night TV.

Have these people no shame? So much for the old adage that one shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, for they’re no longer able to defend themselves. Perhaps liberals think social media affords them an electronic and relatively anonymous platform to spew venom and invective.

John Gage reported on some of the gloating at The Washington Examiner, “Liberal activists heralded the death of billionaire philanthropist David Koch soon after news of his passing became public Friday morning.

“’David Koch is gone. It’s a celebration,’ Frederick Joseph, who made Forbes 30 under 30 for his efforts to ‘expand media representation,’ said Friday on Twitter. ‘Imagine the turn up when orange satan is taken back to hell,’ Joseph added in reference to President Trump's future death. ‘I hope his soul suffers for eternity,’ added Jordan Weissman, an economics and public policy writer for the website Slate, who described Koch, as a ‘villain.’ ...

“The Koch brothers have been viewed by many liberals as conservative bogeyman, using their wealth to influence Republican politicians and policies. With the passing of David, many of the same activists repeated their grievances against the brothers for their use of money in politics, and their role in keeping climate change legislation at bay.”

For what it’s worth, Bernie Sanders took exception to his campaign audience’s cheering Koch’s death…but Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren used it as a means to emphasize her radical views. Does this make “The Bern” more of a real human being?

The left’s heinous reaction centered mostly on Koch’s environmental views and business practices, particularly those indoctrinated persons insisting “climate change” is destroying the earth one carbon belching day at a time -- and that people like David K. made it infinitely more difficult for them to spread their mass hysteria through funding conservative politicians who wouldn’t look kindly on the legislative precursors to the Green New Deal.

Democrats like Al Gore have been sounding the global warming alarm for a couple decades now despite a lack of unassailable proof that the earth is about to morph into a great big ball ‘o fire anytime soon. But even if Koch disagreed with them on the issue it doesn’t give anyone license to haphazardly commit his soul to hell.

Why is it okay for leftist billionaires like George Soros and Tom Steyer to devote gargantuan resources to liberal crusades but it’s not considered in the same realm of acceptability for wealthy folks with more traditional political outlooks? It’s especially mindboggling knowing Koch’s money went to many, many endeavors that even the most cynical of liberals would approve of.

A number of publications (including have done a thorough job of documenting Koch’s contributions to the world, not just to the limited government/liberty cause. Simply stated, David Koch donated hundreds of millions to medical research centers and other worthy charitable organizations (like The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History). Koch’s thoughts on philanthropy were summed up in one quote, when he said he’d rather donate his money to help others rather than “use it on buying a bigger house or a $150 million painting.”

You can’t take the cash with you and it certainly seems as though David understood this. The unfair stigma dogging extravagantly wealthy individuals is they’re all tax-evading greed-mongers who hire accountants and lawyers -- and politicians -- to stave off the tax collectors as well as the grim reaper. Nothing could be further from the truth. If such successful men and women seek lower taxes it’s only because they know they could do better distributing their own fortunes -- and help many more people in the process. Based on the way government irresponsibly wastes and needlessly squanders piles of dough, it’s hard to argue with them.

We are frequent visitors to Colonial Williamsburg and wish we could contribute more to an entity that teaches the true lessons of history -- both good and bad. Places like CW depend on the goodwill of rich people to survive and thrive. Check any non-profit organization worth its salt and the story is always the same -- they’re funded by those with means to sustain them. Most wealthy citizens probably spend almost as much time giving away their money as they do to managing it or making more, or volunteering their time and energy with deserving causes.

No one ever said life is fair, but where death is concerned, it ain’t fair at all -- especially if you’re a conservative. For years the Koch brothers have been vilified as knee-jerk Republican supporters, but they didn’t write checks with a blind eye. Both David and his older brother Charles are/were more libertarian in orientation and backed causes that furthered their pro-liberty limited government philosophies. They didn’t back Donald Trump in 2016 and had already announced they wouldn’t do so again in 2020.

In other words, they’ve put money where their mouth was -- and a lot of it had nothing to do with Republican establishment politicians. Here’s thinking their families will continue to do so long after they’re gone. David will be remembered for his exceedingly generous gifts to a number of non-partisan movements as well as for his pledges to conservative groups.

In the abstract, liberals tend to treat death differently than conservatives. One doesn’t need to be that old to recall the morbidly fascinating “pep rally” that was the late Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone’s funeral in 2002. Or the similar expressions of joviality and partisanship that accompanied the passing of former Clinton Commerce Secretary Ron Brown in 1996. Then there were the toasts and tributes to the dearly departed “lion of the senate,” notorious philanderer Teddy Kennedy ten years ago (his funeral was on August 29, 2009), including an infuriating (to the families of real service members) after-dark burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

Of course it’s been almost a year since the passing and week-long drawn-out honorariums to Senator John McCain, proving that such excessive post-mortem puffery isn’t just a Democrat malady. Lest we forget, President Donald Trump -- and even McCain’s 2008 running mate, Governor Sarah Palin -- were purposely excluded from the official ceremonies. The nationally broadcast McCain eulogies included several backhanded slaps at our president. Will the petty and bitter political resentment ever end?

Conservatives aren’t perfect in this realm but most recognize there’s a civility line to be honored. Take the recent announcement that liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s cancer has returned. It’s no cause for celebration, and even the most ardent partisans acknowledged it. Kurt Schlichter wrote at Townhall, “Not wanting [Ginsburg] to die a horrible death is not to sugarcoat the damage she has done with her utterly upside-down vision of our founding document, but to simply reaffirm a point that never should have been an issue but is an issue because of the shameful behavior of liberals like we saw with Koch. We conservatives don’t want people to die simply because they have different political beliefs.

“But she’s very old and she’s very sick and facing that reality is not the same as high-fiving it. There’s a more than significant chance that before the 2020 election she will pass on to her reward despite her being the Energizer Bunny of being wrong wrong wrong about constitutional jurisprudence. She just keeps going and going and going, but someday she’s going to run out of juice and join her pal Antonin Scalia on the bench in the great beyond, and if that happens with Trump in the White House, ho boy.”

In his inimitable way, Schlichter finished his piece with a full-throated promotion of conservative originalist stalwart Judge Amy Coney Barrett to be Ginsburg’s inevitable successor, hardly a call for a swift end to the Justice’s life to pave the way for a conservative Supreme Court that could last a generation.

Conservatives don’t wish death -- or celebrate it -- on anyone. But Schlichter is right; there’s no use waiting until a court vacancy occurs to begin the thought process on what should be done when it arrives. Ginsburg isn’t the only elderly justice -- and who knows, one of the younger jurists might decide to hang up the black robe early as well.

As a side note, Ginsburg was treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, one of the beneficiaries of David Koch’s enormous benevolence (to the tune of $150 million). I can’t say for sure whether Koch’s money went directly to an area that assisted Ginsburg, but the irony of the situation can’t be ignored.

Should Ginsburg’s life and Supreme Court tenure be extended it might have been made possible through Koch’s lifetime of generosity. What do liberals have to say about that?

The big picture surrounding a man’s life disappears whenever a conservative like David Koch passes away. Hypocritical liberals rush to bash the dead while facts reveal the dearly departed actually made numerous important contributions to humanity. Will the offensive slander never cease?

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