But the bigger point is money is speech, they're putting issues on the table, and American voters get to decide.
GIGOT: And you also have Democrats -- don't complain about George Soros or Tom Steyer, the hedge fund billionaire who is going to spend -- raise $50 million and spend $50 million of his own money in this election.
HENNINGER: Or the big unions, who are always in the top-10 list of contributors to these elections.
I think, largely, what is going on here, Paul, is this is about the 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United, which said that corporations and private groups, like this --
GIGOT: And unions.
HENNINGER: -- and unions, could financially participate in elections. The Democrats are absolutely crazy over this. They hate it because it basically leveled the playing field. It allowed a lot of conservative groups to join. Like the Tea Party groups. That's what the IRS investigations are all about. And I think what Harry Reid is doing and what the IRS thing was about is intimidating. The Kochs won't be intimidated, but other donors at levels below them might be intimidated if they think they will be singled out on the floor of the Senate or criticized in this way, drive them off the playing field, and it allows the Democrats at least a marginal advantage in some of these tight elections that Kim was describing.
GIGOT: Kim, do you think this will work politically?
STRASSEL: You know, I don't. Here is the thing. Most Americans don't know who the Kochs are.
STRASSEL: And when you have these Democratic candidates out talking about them, they're not really paying attention, especially this early in the midterm cycle.
Again, I think what Harry Reid is trying to do is push his own donors to match some of that Koch money.
GIGOT: Well, and he might.
STRASSEL: And that actually may have a greater impact on the race because, you know, this is an issue that does tend to really wind up a lot of liberals. And it could inspire them to open their pocketbooks.
GIGOT: But it does give the lie to the idea that somehow only -- that the rich are dominating politics if all Harry Reid wants is other rich folks to write him checks.
GIGOT: All right. We have to take one more break. When we come back, our "Hits and Misses" of the week.
GIGOT: Time now for "Hits and Misses" of the week -- Dan?
HENNINGER: Well, Paul, for the last two weeks, the biggest thing in the news has been Putin's takeover of Crimea, threats to his neighbors, and how the U.S. and the Western world will respond. I'm scrolling through the news and the next thing I see is there is the president of the United States on ESPN filling out his March Madness bracket and making it clear how much he knows about college basketball. So the world is burning and he's telling us how much he watches hoops.
HENNINGER: Give this man a fiddle.
STRASSEL: Everyone it seems is getting on board with President Obama's election-year themes, even National Aeronautics and Space Administration. My miss goes to that agency, which rather than dreaming up bold space adventures, has been blowing taxpayer dollars on a new study that purports to study the demise of civilizations and to say that if American wants to avoid the fate of Rome, we need to reduce inequality and also stop using natural resources. Sound familiar?
STEPHENS: This is a big hit to astrophysicists everywhere, but particularly Alan Guth of MIT and John Kovac of Harvard. This week, it was announced that they have empirical evidence to confirm what is a standard model for how the universe came into being. Astrophysicists is the South Pole peered 13.8 billion years back in time to find gravitational waves confirming a certain view of the Big Bang. It's an amazing discovery. And it reminds us that part of science is enjoying the wonder of it all.
GIGOT: Bigger scoop than I've ever had, Bret, as a journalist.
And remember, if you have your own hit or miss, please send it to us at jer@FOXnews.com. And be sure to follow us on Twitter, JERonFNC.
That's it for this week's show. Thanks to my panel. Thanks to all of you for watching. I'm Paul Gigot. Hope to see you right here next week.
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