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ViseGrip

(3,133 posts)
Tue Dec 29, 2015, 02:23 PM Dec 2015

Sam Smith - How the Koch brothers helped dismantle the Democratic Party

More here from Sam Smith archives.....on Koch funding the DLC

April 14, 2015 Clintons, Obama, Politics


Sam Smith

For over 20 years I have reported on the mostly unnoted role played by the Democratic Leadership Council dismantling the Democratic Party, disconnecting it from its New Deal and Great Society past and turning it into Republican Lite. For example, in a 1992 book on Clinton, I wrote:


In 1988, the 1992 play was already being cast. Conservative Democrats were holding strategy meetings at the home of party fund-raiser Pamela Harriman. The meetings — eventually nearly a hundred of them — were aimed at ending years of populist insurrection within the party. They were regularly moderated by Clark Clifford and Robert Strauss, the Mr. Fixits of the Democratic mainstream. Democratic donors paid $1000 to take part in the sessions and by the time it was all over, Mrs. Harriman had raised about $12 million for her kind of Democrats.

The play was also being cast by a group that called itself the Democratic Leadership Council. Although lacking any official role in the Democratic Party (and often appearing more a Democratic Abandon Ship Council), the DLC claimed it was the voice of mainstream party thought. In fact, it was primarily a lobby for the views of southern and other conservative Democrats, yet so successful was its media manipulation that it managed with impunity to call its think tank the Progressive Policy Institute.

In such places the important Democratic politics of the late 1980s was being made. Clinton may have bored millions of Americans on TV that night, but Clifford, Strauss, Harriman and the DLC found him intensely interesting, extremely intelligent — an appealing pragmatist, willing to compromise, and fully at home with the policy jargon of the capital.

The DLC would later help bring Barack Obama to the fore, although its role this time was carefully concealed so as not to tarnish Obama’s liberal image.

But what I had failed to note in this story, until Green Party Asher Platts mentioned it recently, was the involvement of the rightwing Koch Brothers in this supposedly Democratic organization.

For example, Sourcewatch reported:


An August, 2000 Newsweek story on Joe Lieberman, The Soul And The Steel reveals that some of the early funding came from ARCO, Chevron, Merck, Du Pont, Microsoft, Philip Morris and Koch Industries:

Among the DLC’s biggest benefactors last year (contributions of between $50,000 and $100,000) were ARCO, Chevron and the drug giant Merck. Other big underwriters include Du Pont, Microsoft and Philip Morris … “We’ve been able to have a dialogue with the [Senator Joseph Lieberman] and his staff,” said Jay Rosser, spokesman for another DLC benefactor, Koch Industries, an oil-pipeline firm that is also a big GOP donor.

The fact that these rightwing brothers were successfully interfering in Democratic politics shows how artificial popular and media assumptions about politics can be.

For example, when Obama came along, The DLC already had a bad rap among liberals so its role in his unprecedented rise to power from state senator to presidential candidate in just a few years was best kept quiet. It only cropped up a few times, such as in this Chicago Sun Times story by Abdon Pallasch in 2008:


Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama may be the most liberal senator by one group’s scorecard, and the Democratic Leadership Council may be a centrist organization trying to pull the Democratic party away from the left.

But with the smell of victory in the air, no one at the DLC convention in Chicago is quibbling with the presumptive nominee’s positions.

Is there any issue on which Obama differs from the DLC agenda?

None, said Chairman Harold Ford, who narrowly lost a race for U.S. Senate in Tennessee two years ago. He said the organization’s main goal now is getting Obama elected president.

It helps that the organization —founded after the 1984 election to move the Democratic Party to the right — has no issue positions it asks members to sign on to. Leaders generally back a more pro-business, pro-trade agenda. Today is the last day of the group’s annual convention in Chicago.

As some of his potential vice presidents participated in break-out sessions here Sunday, Obama played basketball for about three hours just a few blocks away and got a haircut. But not one of the principals here begrudged him not stopping by…

“No, he’s really very, very busy,” Mayor Daley said, making his second appearance this weekend at the convention. “He needs time for his family. It [was] an exhausting primary. We’re all representing Barack Obama. He doesn’t have to be at every meeting. He has to take time out for his family. It’s important for his well-being.”

Some McCain backers decry Obama as the most liberal senator or nominee the Democrats have put up. And the National Journal ranked him the Senate’s most liberal member. But Daley said, “I never looked at him as a liberal” when he worked with Obama on issues in the state legislature.

Bill Clinton was the face of the DLC in 1992. And Obama told supporters four years ago that his inclusion on a DLC list of up-and-coming elected officials four years ago did not mean he was surrendering his progressive credentials on issues such as the War in Iraq.

“Democrats need to be pro-business Democrats again,” said Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, touted by some as a potential vice-president for Obama…

Such a partnership – between something called the Democratic Leadership Council and the Koch Brothers – goes a long way to explaining why our last two Democratic presidents have been so disloyal to their party’s traditions. And why Obama is pushing something as atrocious and anti-American as the secret TPP agreement.

Bipartisanship may be gone on Capitol Hill, but it’s still flourishing in the checks that are written for politicians.

https://samsmitharchives.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/6467/

36 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Sam Smith - How the Koch brothers helped dismantle the Democratic Party (Original Post) ViseGrip Dec 2015 OP
Another Du'er heard Sam on Thom Hartman and wanted more info on this issue, so here it is. ViseGrip Dec 2015 #1
Let in the sunshine. mmonk Dec 2015 #2
There is a lot of clarification in there Doctor_J Dec 2015 #3
It sure explains TPP as well Jackilope Dec 2015 #4
A bunch of lies.....Shocking.... SammyWinstonJack Dec 2015 #14
The people behind the scenes...another one is Penny Pritzker, Sec. of Commerce... Human101948 Dec 2015 #5
The worst people in the world. Initech Dec 2015 #6
Worse Than PNAC? ProfessorGAC Dec 2015 #10
They're probably the heads of PNAC. Initech Dec 2015 #12
Love the Emoticon! ProfessorGAC Dec 2015 #21
If only they were. mountain grammy Dec 2015 #15
I've sensed something wrong fredamae Dec 2015 #7
Yep. When he canned all those advisors mmonk Dec 2015 #8
Well, we were "had to some extent" fredamae Dec 2015 #9
DWS also ruined the Fla dem party. People there wanted her gone in 2014 after all the losses. ViseGrip Dec 2015 #30
Also the US Chamber of Commerce deminks Dec 2015 #11
+1 mmonk Dec 2015 #13
I remember reading that the U.S. CoC was scared of Edwards and made a statement that it SammyWinstonJack Dec 2015 #16
Our COC also supported our Republican Gov in NC. Duval Dec 2015 #19
There is even more on the corruption of the DLC in the archives of DU. bvar22 Dec 2015 #17
Some of us wanted to see this, ViseGrip. Duval Dec 2015 #18
Huge K & R !!! WillyT Dec 2015 #20
Aarrghh, Lieberman AwakeAtLast Dec 2015 #22
So the republican 'party' and the democratic 'party' are the same. pangaia Dec 2015 #23
In our time, yes, they are the same. They both fish out of the same corporate money bucket. ViseGrip Dec 2015 #29
"Media manipulation." Heh. See that kind of manipulation at the SA Zoo monkey cages... Eleanors38 Dec 2015 #24
Kick !!! WillyT Dec 2015 #25
Pro business and pro-trade defines the Obama Presidency. guillaumeb Dec 2015 #26
People are getting the glasses now to see through the crap and how "They Live" and feed on us! cascadiance Dec 2015 #27
knr nt slipslidingaway Dec 2015 #28
Does the DLC early coziness with Obama really past the 'smell' test? ReallyIAmAnOptimist Dec 2015 #31
No passing smell test here when you read this.....for sure ViseGrip Dec 2015 #32
Good but sad and sobering thread. PufPuf23 Dec 2015 #33
The message of G. Carlin & F. Zappa has never rung truer. NT pablo_marmol Dec 2015 #34
Activists must be able to process truth, even when it hurts. Then change the way we work. ViseGrip Dec 2015 #35
PS. Even Hillary gave a message to a Trump supporter, hoping he'll come over to her side. ViseGrip Dec 2015 #36
 

ViseGrip

(3,133 posts)
1. Another Du'er heard Sam on Thom Hartman and wanted more info on this issue, so here it is.
Tue Dec 29, 2015, 02:24 PM
Dec 2015

It certainly deserves it's on place on DU. Why will those involved not accept this, and work to undo this status quo?

 

Doctor_J

(36,392 posts)
3. There is a lot of clarification in there
Tue Dec 29, 2015, 02:35 PM
Dec 2015
Is there any issue on which Obama differs from the DLC agenda?

None, said Chairman Harold Ford,


So the hope and change and public option were a bunch of lies, as has been verified over 8 years.

Jackilope

(819 posts)
4. It sure explains TPP as well
Tue Dec 29, 2015, 02:40 PM
Dec 2015

Not to mention putting social security up on the table for negotiations with GOP.

 

Human101948

(3,457 posts)
5. The people behind the scenes...another one is Penny Pritzker, Sec. of Commerce...
Tue Dec 29, 2015, 02:53 PM
Dec 2015

Penny Pritzker played a leading, decision-making role in the lead-up to the failure, which ultimately lost 1,400 depositors an estimated $10 million and cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation approximately half a billion dollars. After the Pritzkers and a family friend took over a failed suburban Chicago bank on very favorable terms in 1988, they began aggressively pursuing high-interest, high-risk subprime loans. They were able to repackage the loans in securities given an investment grade, Anderson says, because they promised to replace any failed mortgage with a good one. But as they pumped out profits for themselves, they eventually failed to live up to their promises, including a pledge to invest more capital.

Bert Ely, a prominent bank consultant, says that Superior Bank “was a really sleazy operation” and “pretty gross.” The bank essentially told others in the business to “bring us your crappiest loans you’ve got and we’ll securitize them.”

In 2001, the bank collapsed. But thanks to an unusual deal with the FDIC that allowed the Pritzkers to share in a lawsuit against the bank’s auditors, Penny and her family ultimately profited from the failure. They “didn’t own up to their responsibility,” says Ely. “My estimate is that the owners of Superior ended up making big money on the deal after taking into account tax laws, and it’s unconscionable that they made money while pensioners lost money.”

http://inthesetimes.com/article/14948/3_troubling_things_about_billionaire_penny_pritzker

fredamae

(4,458 posts)
7. I've sensed something wrong
Tue Dec 29, 2015, 03:10 PM
Dec 2015

in the Dem Party for decades...didn't know what....didn't know any of the "who's"...but I gotta say it was during the early months of the first term of the Obama admin...that I Really became alarmed..and it started with his appointees.

mmonk

(52,589 posts)
8. Yep. When he canned all those advisors
Tue Dec 29, 2015, 03:21 PM
Dec 2015

after the campaign and put those appointments in, I knew I had been had to some extent.

fredamae

(4,458 posts)
9. Well, we were "had to some extent"
Tue Dec 29, 2015, 03:36 PM
Dec 2015

And all the kids (and everyone else) that worked So hard to get him elected with such HOPE were dismissed quickly and quietly.

Dem Party Dots are coming together, right now-faster than I can absorb.
But I Do thank Debbie Wasserman Schultz for spurring the anger to get folks interested in learning about who/what this once good party has become.

deminks

(11,144 posts)
11. Also the US Chamber of Commerce
Tue Dec 29, 2015, 03:58 PM
Dec 2015

more background here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/100278918

Links are gone now, but here is a more recent one:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/2/5/90403/-

Al From, founder of the DLC, was HIRED (as in paid) by Tom Donohue, head of the US Chamber of Commerce and general political messer upper, to make sure who ever wins the presidency carries forth the 'conservative banner'. Whoever wins. Do you understand? Who ever wins. Been going on now for many years. Many many years. Jessie Jackson used to call them the Democrats for the Leisure Class. As in destroy leftist populists at all costs. I post this over and over and over, but people just pass right by.

SammyWinstonJack

(44,134 posts)
16. I remember reading that the U.S. CoC was scared of Edwards and made a statement that it
Tue Dec 29, 2015, 04:18 PM
Dec 2015

would be going after progressive candidates. Bernie is on their list, I'm sure.

bvar22

(39,909 posts)
17. There is even more on the corruption of the DLC in the archives of DU.
Tue Dec 29, 2015, 04:18 PM
Dec 2015

We knew about this Republican Trojan Horse years ago.

Here is some links, in case you are interested in How did the Democratic Party wind up to the Right of Reagan?


DLC links

Koch Bros. DLC
http://americablog.com/2010/08/koch-industries-gave-funding-to-the-dlc-and-served-on-its-executive-council.html

Third Way Foundation (Source Watch page)
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Third_Way_Foundation

Will Marshall profile from Right Web
http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/1295.html

Democratic Leadership Council/DLC page from Source Watch
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Democratic_Leadership_Council

DLC profile from Right Web
http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/1463.html

"How the DLC Does It" by Robert Dreyfuss (American Prospect 4-22-2001)
http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?articleId=4706

Progressive Policy Institute/PPI (the DLC's main think tank) links

PPI Source Watch page
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Progressive_Policy_Institute

PPI profile from Right Web
http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/1534.html

Grants to support PPI (from Media Transparency)
www.mediatransparency.org/recipientgrants.php?recipientID=2355

pangaia

(24,324 posts)
23. So the republican 'party' and the democratic 'party' are the same.
Tue Dec 29, 2015, 04:55 PM
Dec 2015

OR- they are not the same.
Or both.

There ARE differences, especially in the verbiage coming from candidates.
But, candidates from both parties are bound in chains by how much TPTB will allow.

Whatever positions TPTB do not care about, is not a problem. A candidate can say/do whatever he/she likes---But the positions that TPTB DO care about---- that is the rope around a candidate's neck.

So democratic politicians can support 'safe' socially liberal agendas, for example, and republican politicians can support -- well.. it looks like they can do just about anything. But only because they have moved so far right..

The ONLY candidate running for president now who says FUCK YOU to TPTB is.. guess who.. the old grumpy guy with the frumpy suits, his real teeth and tactics like one might see from a pissed off chihuahua.

Or maybe a St Bernard who will NOT GIVE UP !!!






 

Eleanors38

(18,318 posts)
24. "Media manipulation." Heh. See that kind of manipulation at the SA Zoo monkey cages...
Tue Dec 29, 2015, 05:15 PM
Dec 2015

Early and often those guys get taken in-hand.

Said it for years: If you are anywhere left of Eisenhower, you have No Home in the Democratic Party, No friend in the Whitehouse, and respect in MSM. Just this a.m., a local PBS story in Texas mentioned potential opposition by immigrant advocacy groups as "Leftist," while tRump et al were not even characterized. Seems a big deportation raid offense by ICE is starting today. Didn't hear about that? Neither did the "Leftist" the groups. Get the picture?

guillaumeb

(42,641 posts)
26. Pro business and pro-trade defines the Obama Presidency.
Tue Dec 29, 2015, 06:42 PM
Dec 2015

Capped so far by the TPP.

It helps that the organization —founded after the 1984 election to move the Democratic Party to the right — has no issue positions it asks members to sign on to. Leaders generally back a more pro-business, pro-trade (italics mine) agenda. Today is the last day of the group’s annual convention in Chicago.


The italicized part says it all.

 

cascadiance

(19,537 posts)
27. People are getting the glasses now to see through the crap and how "They Live" and feed on us!
Tue Dec 29, 2015, 06:50 PM
Dec 2015


And see how the Koch money (unification of Libertarians and communist 1%ers (Koch and Stalin)) are trying to screw the masses of the world by destroying the Democratic Party with the corporate money owned underlings...
31. Does the DLC early coziness with Obama really past the 'smell' test?
Tue Dec 29, 2015, 11:06 PM
Dec 2015

Certainly I agree that he's governed as nearly Republican-lite (as did Bill).

However, by the time Obama came around the Clintons all but 'owned' the DLC,
so how is it that the DLC would support Obama when HRC is coming up the pike...?

I'm just thinking out loud, and really am curious how to reconcile this...

PufPuf23

(8,980 posts)
33. Good but sad and sobering thread.
Tue Dec 29, 2015, 11:49 PM
Dec 2015

The Democratic Party has been has been hijacked and traditional policies dis-mantled.

 

ViseGrip

(3,133 posts)
35. Activists must be able to process truth, even when it hurts. Then change the way we work.
Wed Dec 30, 2015, 03:12 PM
Dec 2015

Today, we are still spinning wheels. We must learn to work in a different way. This is why we now have corporations writing our laws. Both parties are to blame. They both fish out of the same money bucket!

This is why the people of the United States must come together, as Bernie Sanders says, in ever speech. THAT MEANS ALL AMERICANS, EVEN SUPPORTERS OF OTHER CANDIDATES, IF THEY GET KNOCKED OUT.

You must have some from the other side to win, or you lose.

 

ViseGrip

(3,133 posts)
36. PS. Even Hillary gave a message to a Trump supporter, hoping he'll come over to her side.
Wed Dec 30, 2015, 08:09 PM
Dec 2015

she gets the math too.

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