Citizen Koch (2014)

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for conflict rhetoric- “battle”, “war”, etc.

Take a Drink: when even a Republican speaks out against this Super-PAC bullshit

Take a Drink: whenever you see/hear something racist

Take a Drink: whenever we see Fox News push a political agenda.  Fair & Balanced my ass.

Take a Drink: whenever somebody takes a dig at the Supreme Court

Do Shots: …liberally

Do a Shot: wait… did that John Bircher just say Hitler was right?

Community Review

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1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Movie Review

By: Henry J. Fromage (Two Beers) –

You’ve probably heard the Koch Brothers name before in some vaguely villainous Republican context, perhaps connected to the Tea Party… or Halliburton?  Were they Skull and Bones or something?  If your’e only vaguely informed about them, that’s exactly where they want you.

Koch-brothers

Yesss my pretty.

In reality they own the second largest corporation in the United States.  I know… really.  Their collection of companies and natural resources holdings have earned them billions, and more than a few millions have exerted a major influence on policy and policymakers.  Citizen Koch is a documentary examining how, and the resulting schism helping divide both a Party and a Nation.

A Toast

The main focus of the documentary are two seminal events that the Koch Brothers had an undue amount of influence in.  The first is the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that ruled that corporations have the same rights as individuals and opened the floodgates for unlimited campaign donations through the Super-PACs that Stephen Colbert pulled back the curtains on last year.

colbert

You(‘re alter ego) will be missed

The conflicts of interest of Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia in particular make that an infuriating decision, and the documentary builds on it by sharing how it affected the recall election for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who was allowed access to an unlimited amount of funds to defend his embattled office.

The filmmakers employ a truly surprising amount of resources to make their case from secret recordings of the Koch’s yearly cabals to a video of Walker nonchalantly describing to a billionaire how he’s going to destroy collective bargaining in his state like some sort of turn of the century Pullman-Pinkerton motherfucker.  Somewhere Robert La Follette is rolling over in his grave.

triangle-shirtwaist-fire-nyc-1911

Can’t wait til we’re all dying in shirtwaist factory fires again.

The most interesting resource, though, is its selection of interview subjects, who are predominantly Republican.  There are no famous Democrat talking heads, but several Republican ones, as well as many normal folks carrying a Party card, many of them seeing their benefits and salary demolished by a Governor they voted in.  What emerges is a portrait of the growing schism between the corporate-backed Tea Party and the true-blue Republicans who won’t go quite that far.

The first point the documentary makes, though, is perhaps its most interesting.  It opens with a quote from the Koch Brothers’ father, Fred Koch, who founded their multibillion dollar company and… The John Birch Society.

john-birch-propaganda

This John Birch Society

It goes on to demonstrate, without ever having to explicitly say, how manipulating ignorance like racism and reactionary politics to shadowy specters like Communism (today “Socialism” is the bugaboo that replaced it) is the Kochs and their ilk’s modus operandi, and even on the even of 2015, there are still plenty of people willing to eat that shit and call it filet mignon.

Beer Two

This documentary is incredibly infuriating, but tantamount to preaching to an ever-expanding choir.  Who is this majority that kept Walker in office?  Is it really just slack-jawed folk with time to go to Tea Party on Wheels in the middle of the day?  What is it that these people find so compelling about the Tea Party?

Verdict

Hindsight’s 20/20, but Citizen Koch‘s portrayal of contemporary politics, from the genesis of the current Supreme Court to the rise of the Super-PACs to our current stalemated Congress feels like a tightening noose.  I sure hope we can wriggle our way out of it.

a2Beers

About Henry J. Fromage

Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.

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