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Show me the money

By Owen Paine on Monday March 20, 2006 12:27 PM

Here's some news: seems the nation's leading catalytic donk orgs are flush with dough these days. At least, so claims a recent piece in my local Boston Globe:
"....2005 Federal Election Commission reports indicate that five of the top 10 richest tax-exempt 527 political issue groups were liberal.... Of the top 10 political action committees, eight were liberal or affiliated with organized labor, with substantially more cash on hand than conservative groups such as the National Rifle Association or GOP-friendly corporate PACs such as the National Association of Realtors."
Brace yourselves, 'cause here comes the hog scramble for all that cash. Here's the Globe's rundown so far:

First there's the former Senator from North Carolina, John Edwards, He's after union bucks. Squaresville, eh? He's backing "a new effort to unionize hotel workers." Then there's Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, who is said to be "music to the ears of activists on the left." Filling the next quantum orbit: the dead center guy, Mark Warner, former Virginia governor, who "recently hired one of the leftist blogosphere's biggest names to run his Internet outreach campaign... Jerome Armstrong, founder of the popular leftist blog MyDD.com."

I'll skip some others that add little. But can you see a trend here? The Globe does:

" ...prospective Democratic presidential candidates, even those with centrist credentials [are] actively courting the Democratic Party's left wing."
And why? Because the left "speaks loudly through its blogs." Err... okay... what's that? There's another reason? The Left "enjoys rising fund-raising clout"?

Ah, now you're talkin'.

The message of one and all: ''It's very important for them to know we'll fight for their beliefs." That's Edwards talking -- the guy who ran "as a moderate who supported the Iraq war." He's now "busy" trying to build "a large base of support on the left."

The Globe warns there's a down side to all this fancy strippin' for progressive cash: "Democratic centrists who look at the voter math worry about candidates who court the left," for fear that their party will turn off too many [cue reverb] "swing voters... swing voters... swing voters." A nationwide survey by pollsters Penn, Schoen, and Berland, who work for (among others) Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, says that self-identified liberals are "only 16 percent of the population, compared with 36 percent who call themselves conservatives and 47 percent who say they are moderates."

Quite a dilemma, because that liberal 16% loom large in the primary-season gauntlet. So the classic Democratic office-seeker's strategy is to fleece the liberals during primary season, and fuck 'em afterwards.

There's a particularly big scurry for liberal fleece this year, since front-runner St Hillary created a void "in the hearts and minds of many liberal activists" by moving her band wagon to the war-fighting right. It's a void these other center Democrats "are rushing to fill" -- with hot air.

I wonder when the progs are going to get wise to this scam, and tell the hucksters "not this time, bub. I'm sick of this sub-Dickensian hustle farce." Don't expect it from His Holiness Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, Pope of prog-bloggery, who has issued, on behalf of "the blogsphere", a plenary indulgence to War Democrats, ''As long as they're suitably contrite and admit they made a mistake."

Speaking of forgiven sinners and reanimated corpses, guess what -- the Kerry nation lives. Yes, despite a showing last time worthy of the Tin Man from Oz, Senator tree-trunk moves on: "One of Kerry's major assets is his mostly liberal, activist-donor list of three million names," to which his miracle anti-Alito flubberduster drive "added nearly 80,000 names."

Adding insult to injury, it ain't just candidate campaign war chests the pro hacks dream these generous and well-heeled progs will fill. There's also to be ten thousand think tanks: "The newly launched Democracy Alliance has drawn together 85 well-heeled donors willing to commit $1 million each over five years to fund left-of-center think tanks, media operations, and other institutions designed to influence the national debate" -- from which we can expect an efflorescence of genius that will make Periclean Athens and Medicean Florence look small-time.

The sagacious Globe ends by striking a realistic note: "the winner of the Democratic primary will be decided more on the power of the purse than the power of the left" -- which seamlessly leads into the punch line: "The hands-down winner on that score (cash raising ) even her critics concede, could well be Hillary Rodham Clinton."

The libs may have deeper pockets than anybody knew, but there are others deeper still, and Hillary has a long arm in every one of 'em. She don't need no stinkin' bloggers.

Comments (1)

J. Alva Scruggs:

What a terrible waste. The common fallacies appears to be that political parties and their apparatchiks can be guardians of ideology, that rebranding will turn public favor away from the extreme crackpot Republicans and that stealing enough of the Republican brand will gain them voting market share. The Democratic machine is approaching this exactly the way a corporate welfare on the rocks attempts to salvage the declining value of the incentive options held by upper management.

I feel bad, albeit not that often, for the feckless liberals who really do oppose war, racism, brass knuckle economics, sexist discrimination and torture. They're doomed to be fleeced and disappointed time and again by smooth talking shills with the latest Lakoffian pop sociology talking points and whizzomatic internets theories.

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