The Koch brothers have denied having any skin in the shutdown game, but the simple fact is their own groups were instrumental in orchestrating it, from lobbying congressmen to take a hard line on defunding Obamacare to harassing those who didn’t get on board. The New York Times points to a Heritage Foundation effort to run internet ads in North Carolina districts against 100 candidates who didn’t sign a pledge from NC Rep Mark Meadows urging Boehner to push for defunding. Eventually 80 of them got on board.
Both FreedomWorks and the Heritage Foundation urged the House to vote “no” on the final deal that came from Senate and was resoundingly passed. So how do they feel now that their shutdown was squashed? Bitter.
Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, called Republicans’ capitulation “a total surrender.” He’s still convinced his hostage-taking shutdown strategy would have worked, if Republicans had just had the balls to take it all the way to a default: “We don’t have regrets,” Kibbe said. “This was a very winnable fight, if the Republicans had been willing to fight.”