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What's the meanest thing you can say to a liberal?


Q: What's the meanest thing you can say to a liberal?

A: That they're acting like Glenn Beck.

Nevertheless, the editorial board went there Tuesday in an editorial entitled "Rich guys have rights too,"  comparing those who protested Sunday against the Koch brothers, who donate millions to conservative political causes, to Glenn Beck's unfavorable commentary about George Soros, who donates to progressive causes.

"Same problem, different billionaires," writes the board. They continue:

Money does indeed distort our political system, but few of those who complain about it acknowledge that political spending cuts both ways. Activists on Sunday were angry at the Koch brothers for spending $1 million on a failed campaign to overturn California's law to curb greenhouse gases, but they didn't seem bothered about the millions spent on the other side by California venture capitalists with investments in clean-energy startups. If you're going to raise a fuss about political spending, it would be more honest to cast a spotlight on it even when the money comes from people you agree with. What's more, campaign donations from individuals -- rich as well as poor -- are a critical component of political expression, and thus of free speech.

This outraged a good amount of readers.

"MoveOn and its allied groups have every right to expose the Koch Brothers, for what they are - two billionaire brothers, who through their funding of the Tea Party Movement, are on a campaign to buy the government. The public has the right to know who is bribing whom, and which Congressmen are receiving secret funds from the Koch Brothers and other corporate interests. MoveOn is doing the job that the Los Angeles Times is not.

So "Rich Guys Have Rights." Yeah, they sure do. They can buy politicians and judges. They can bribe the media. They can flood the airwaves with fraudulent advertising - all because they have money. This is exactly what is happening thanks to the Citizens United decisions. The argument presented by the Los Angeles Times reminds me of the slogan George Orwell's Animal Farm. Everyone has rights, but rich guys have more rights than any one else." --mnyegele

"All those people protesting the Kochs have the right to free speech too.  I know that the LA Times has a leftist reputation so you feel the need to do this every once in awhile, but if you've got info about leftist billionaires corrupting politics why not just print it rather than climbing up on a phony free speech high horse and chastising people who are also exercising their right to free speech." --dbmcvey

"LA times. Your attempt at balance is LAME! The Koch Bros are a pox on the middle class. They are John Birchers who could care less about the average American. They will not be satisfied until ALL government regulation is abolished and all people are firmly restrained under their boot. They are poster boys for the new gilded age.  They accept ZERO restrictions on their economic activities. They are anti-American. Their ideal of good government is strikingly similar to the corporate fascism embraced in Italy during the second world war. Can we expect an editorial soon rehabilitating the image of Benito Mussolini? Yes "Rich guys have rights" but does that right include subverting government for their own ends?" --clearville

Yeah… Perhaps the readers didn't get to the last paragraph. Just two sentences:

We're no fans of the Kochs and their promotion of poisonous, self-dealing politics. But we'll defend their right to promote it.


Rich guys have rights too

Mouthing off in America

-- Alexandra Le Tellier

Photo: Protesters fill the corner of Bob Hope and Rancho Las Palmas on Sunday in Rancho Mirage, Calif., as they march against a conservative strategy meeting hosted by brothers Charles and David Koch. Credit: Crystal Chatham, The Desert Sun / AP Photo


Comments () | Archives (35)

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I'd defend their right to promote it as well but you're defending their right to buy it.


An Alaska state house candidate recently was heard complaining on the radio that the Koch bros.' outfit bought so much advertising in our markets that the candidates had difficulty purchasing time and space for their own advertising...Why would you support what the Koch bros. are doing other than to support your own bottom line? When they spend so much money that they drown out all other opinion they are NOT democratic. They are un-American.


Great. Using your freedom of speech to rail at others using their freedom of speech to curtail the hijacking of government disguised as freedom of speech. Is this a newspaper or a chapter from catch 22?


I don't object to the wealthy of either camp-color buying candidates or bankrolling issues (they will do so whether we like it or not.) I object to it being done on the QT. I propose that anyone running for office or any organized attempt to place an issue on the ballot/get an issue approved, demonstrate full disclosure. I would like to use NASCAR as the example of best-practice for this. Politicians would be required to wear a jacket or vest with all the pertinent logos or block letter names of the key backers. Ads for proposals would be required to list the backers at the front of the ad---'this piece of propaganda brought to you by ...' It works for me for both sides of the aisle.

Julian Fort

A more appropriate title for this piece might have been... "Rich Guys Have The Most Rights"


The AAUP did a survey of salaries of their membership and other professions.
Obviously,the NBA came in first,followed by the NFL,MLB.
MDs and instructors at Medical Schools came in next.
Immediately following them came the professors of the University of California and the California State System.
This tells you a great deal about the sincerity of many individuals asking for raises in tuition and fees.Helping the middle class succeed has included moving the professors up the ranks of salaries. In addition,it does not include the numerous professors who have managed to get their spouses employment on the campuses.


The LATS, in the pockets for the Dems, everyday of the week. Spewing their liberal slant ........wow, who would have thought.


Meantime, the lefties gather to hate on the Koch brothers and Republicans, a little loud schreeching group of morons, and the LATs. gives them a news nod. Hypocrits.


What's the meanest thing you can say about the LA Times?

That they're acting like Fox News.

A.L. Hern

"...The editorial board...compar[ed] those who protested...against the Koch brothers, who donate millions to conservative political causes, to Glenn Beck's unfavorable commentary about George Soros, who donates to progressive causes."

The comparison is utterly unwarranted: while criticisms of the Koches involves what are generally accurate accounts of the causes and individuals on whom they shower their largesse, Beck's demonization of Soros is factually inaccurate in a manner that all but eliminates the possibility that Beck's assertions are merely based on poor research (the teen-age, Jewish Soros "assisting the Christian family with whom he lived to evade capture by the Nazis in the selection of Jews for deportation to concentration camps" or Soros's role as "puppet master" -- to use Beck's term -- in manipulation of financial markets and world politics, while ignoring the fact that much of the financier's "manipulations" were aimed at, and succeeded in, helping to bringing down Communist governments in Eastern Europe, Marxist states which Beck and his ilk surely despised). "Inaccurate" doesn't even begin to describe Beck's conspiratorial fantasies.

Beck's "lectures" are transparently crafted to make his point in direct contradiction to any known fact. I'm not saying that Beck won't use facts to buttress his case; it's just that they so seldom congruent with the message he wants to send his army of armchair conspiracists. Besides, making stuff up out of whole cloth is so far easier..and much more fun.


The rich don't represent me, and it doesn't matter if they are liberal or conservative. They live in their own world and want me to live according to their rules. No thanks.

Greg Maragos



10. Barbra Streisand reminds me of Dick Cheney.
9. Michelle Obama recently had too much to drink at a party and started saying nice things about Ronald Reagan.
8. Wow, I think I can see Joe Biden and Nacy Pelosi over there in the corner cutting taxes and balancing the federal budget--Ha! Ha! Made you look!
7. I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that Sarah Palin has just won the GOP nomination for president, so Barack Obama's reelection is almost guaranteed; furthermore, this pot of gold at my feet is all yours--just take it! The bad news is that I am a 20-foot-tall, fire-breathing dragon, and you're standing in front of me, completely naked, in the middle of a crowded airport--so, yes, this is just a dream.
6. I succeeded through honesty, frugality and hard work--and so can you!
5. Jesse Jackson's applying for unemployment benefits--apparently racism is way down.
4. Clarence Thomas's doctor said he's in such good shape he might live to be 100.
3. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld Happy Meals as constitutional.
2. The new plan to build freeways with speed bumps has been voted down.
1. In an ironic twist of fate, Al Gore has been run over by a polar bear driving an SUV.

Erik Sanjurjo

Get better Robert Greene. The Times (and rationality) need you back.

Joe Martino

The meanest thing you can say to a liberal is...here are the facts and they do not support your argument.

Harold Jones

The Right may have the Kochs but the Left has the LA Times, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Guess who is ahead in the propaganda war?

Mitchell Young

"No, you're gardener's name is Jose...Ignacio went back to Mexico two months ago to tend to an ailing wife. Didn't you notice?"

BTW the Koch bros are libertarians, not conservatives. They currently employ, by funding the journal Reason (sic), libertarian writers Matt Welsh and Tim Cavanaugh, guys played an instrumental role in getting this bit of cyberspace up and running and were subsequently 'kicked to the curb' . No body ever mistook those two for conservative.

And at least the Koch bros made their money by making stuff. As far as I can tell (though this is murky) the LA Times is still owned by Sam Zell, who made his money by swapping bits of real estate and then bought this fine instution with money he apparently didn't have.


The meanist thing you can say to a liberal is "Tell the truth, use facts, not spin."


George Soros owns the Democrats. That party has the greates number of registered voters in the history of America, but apparently thats ok.
The Koch brothers, have merely encouraged the Tea Partiers, who really aren't much more than a PAC, but just that encouragement is enough to cause our Liberal bretheren to mount and organized campaign against them.
Remember when the Liberals pretended that someone else's efforts should be disregarded, because they were "organized?"


It is amazing to me that "What's the Meaneast Thing You can Say to a Liberal?" is the most read/emailed,blogged/whatever. Why are so many people interested in saying mean things to liberals? Go out and do some good in your community, people!

Native Angeleno

The meanest thing is also the most honest: That when the Constitution is dead and buried, they will have facilitated the Reicht to put it there by devoting their energy to engage in the party politics that keeps the evil going they superficially believe they're fighting. And that it couldn't have been destroyed without them.


MODERN liberals reject the idea of individual rights. Instead, they believe that people enjoy rights and incur obligations as members of groups. MODERN liberals believe there is no such thing as an individual right to freedom of speech or association. They believe what rights or privileges you have depend on what group you are a member of, and the state may properly enforce such distinctions. Hence, MODERN liberals believe unions have the right to give money in support of candidates and corporations do not. Assigning rights and responsibilities to groups rather than individuals is at the heart of collectivism. MODERN liberals are actually COLLECTIVISTS.

J Chang

This post is absolutely correct. A person is a hypocrite if they decry one person's action but not another's when they are same action (funding a prop). Critics (these protesters) are unable to hold the same standards across the board, which most Americans would call equality.

It appears the extreme left/right are a special class and their own rules don't apply to them, but their rules apply to everyone else. Their biggest rule, which comes to mind, is that their opinion is always right for everyone, end of discussion.

Tim Bowman

You presume that zealots will have a balanced point a view. You presume too much.

Mea Sententia

And nothing is said about George Soros?


"We're no fans of the Kochs and their promotion of poisonous, self-dealing politics. But we'll defend their right to promote it."

That's says it all, they'll defend the Koch's right to destroy our democracy. Alex, you don't get it.

Jon Healey

@Mitchell -- Matt Welch left to run Reason before the series of layoffs here that claimed Tim. Both are sorely missed. And I can't believe I'm defending Sam Zell, but folks like him make money by adding value, not merely shuffling decks. I wouldn't put Henry Kravis in the same category of Henry Ford, but both of them create wealth.



Collectivism, huh? OK, let's start by amending the constitution to say the following: "Corporations and other business entities are not people and do not enjoy the rights of people or citizens under the law of the United States."

If you are willing to agree to that, then we would know that you are actually serious about applying what you say to everybody and not just the middle class. What you really mean is that you want to keep anybody who disagrees with your point of view from associating because you know that individuals are much easier to control. It is no coincidence that the Tea Partiers did not gain power until they began to organize.

lois eisenberg

You could add to Glenn Beck's name Rush. Sarah and Michele. All four " run shivers up my spine." I could continue but this space isn't large enough to post the names!!!!


"Activists on Sunday were angry at the Koch brothers for spending $1 million on a failed campaign to overturn California's law to curb greenhouse gases, but they didn't seem bothered about the millions spent on the other side by California venture capitalists with investments in clean-energy startups. If you're going to raise a fuss about political spending, it would be more honest to cast a spotlight on it even when the money comes from people you agree with."

Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm... really LOUSY comparison, Guys! This particular argument clearly puts the "Liberals" on the side of Good as current science now prtty much agrees, and those start-ups are trying to protect EVERYONE from the climate change the Right-supported oil companies helped create.

If you want to condem either side for ignoring the similarity of their actions to the opposition's, try to pick a topic that is less clear-cut in terms of Good/Bad outcomes.

John Bryans Fontaine

I'm acting like Glenn Beck??

I'm believe that when I get $$$$$$ from NewsCorp.

John Bryans Fontaine

I'm acting like Glenn Beck?

Do I have to chainsaw a bunny in half??


I act like Glenn Beck? Is there a 78-year-old woman to intimidate and threaten for writing an obscure paper about 40 years ago?


If I'm acting like Glenn Beck, then that must make me a Bircher, a birther, and a male bimbo.

leslie piper

Criminality riding on crushing wheels of gold. Whatever insult you may THINK you could say about conservatives, I wager that real-life examples...pedophilic thieves,
death-worshipping traitors, etc...of such could be found within a mile of wherever whoever may be reading this.
I have heard of pecuniary defects in liberals, but I have never felt sadism, greed, simple-minded hatred...all of which are on doltish display wherever conservatives gather.

The Kochs are no different than anybody else, except for their unusual raising and anti-social sadism, plus of course, all that money. The cocoon they are insulated in makes it easier for them to indulge themselves, much like Kim Jon Il.

I diagree with what I know of them to the depth of my being, yet I know they are not all that different from the commoners they want to suppress.

Many years ago I asked young people, separately, what each would do with a billion dollars.The eleven-year old who shot back, without even thinking, who said, "First I'd buy Congress..." should have prepared me for knowing about the Kochs. Stupid, ignorant, self-centered, immensely willful, born to great wealth. Just ordinary, dim people with great power derived from wealth they know nothing essentially about gaining.

Yes, they are enemies our Constitution and nation must overcome.
The bigger they come, the harder they fall, one and all. I'm betting on the government, of the people, by the people, for the people. I do not think that even the evil guidance of Armey or Gangreen-itch can put the ambitions and liberty of common people back into history's lockbox.

Yes, the Kochs and other libertarian and 'conservative' leaders prove just how common-place and ordinary they are: in spite of the unusual possession great means, their goals have not risen nor become finer...they strive to realize exactly the same un-developed goals as spoiled children hogging the sandbox, just 'more and bigger'. How sad.

What fools these mortals be.


Your country is halfway down the toilet as it is. You want to flush away what's left, go ahead. It's your lives. Just vote for a bunch of GOP bag men working on behalf of the plutocrats, or stay home like you did during the last midterms.

The human heart never changes - democracies have been destroyed by the idiocy of a propaganda drunk mob. Just look at Ancient Athens.



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