You may have noticed that our friends on the left have begun to refer to the Koch brothers and other rich conservatives as “oligarchs.” Like calling evangelicals “jihadists” and the tea party “racist,” this comparison to the billionaires in Vladimir Putin‘s circle is meant to stigmatize and marginalize these men politically and socially.

This latest Saul Alinsky tactic got us thinking about who really qualifies as an American oligarch. If the definition is someone who becomes rich by association with government power and policies, and then assists those in power, the Kochs would barely make the list. Their companies are usually harassed by government.

With that standard in mind, we thought we’d offer liberals a list of some other American billionaires and where they rate as oligarchs. We’ve also created a ranking method we’ll call the Timchenko Scale after Gennady Timchenko, the Russian billionaire pal of Mr. Putin who was recently sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury.

George Soros. The hedge-fund billionaire made his biggest score and his financial reputation shorting the British pound in 1992, but that was a free-market bet. He now funds a myriad of left-wing causes, but then it’s his money. His support for statism in the U.S. is also offset to some degree by his support for transparency in dictatorships abroad. Oligarch rating: Half a Timchenko.

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