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Tue Dec 29, 2015, 02:23 PM

 

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, 3744 views

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Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply Sam Smith - How the Koch brothers helped dismantle the Democratic Party (Original post)
ViseGrip Dec 2015 OP
ViseGrip Dec 2015 #1
mmonk Dec 2015 #2
Doctor_J Dec 2015 #3
Jackilope Dec 2015 #4
SammyWinstonJack Dec 2015 #14
Human101948 Dec 2015 #5
Initech Dec 2015 #6
ProfessorGAC Dec 2015 #10
Initech Dec 2015 #12
ProfessorGAC Dec 2015 #21
mountain grammy Dec 2015 #15
fredamae Dec 2015 #7
mmonk Dec 2015 #8
fredamae Dec 2015 #9
ViseGrip Dec 2015 #30
deminks Dec 2015 #11
mmonk Dec 2015 #13
SammyWinstonJack Dec 2015 #16
Duval Dec 2015 #19
bvar22 Dec 2015 #17
Duval Dec 2015 #18
WillyT Dec 2015 #20
AwakeAtLast Dec 2015 #22
pangaia Dec 2015 #23
ViseGrip Dec 2015 #29
Eleanors38 Dec 2015 #24
WillyT Dec 2015 #25
guillaumeb Dec 2015 #26
cascadiance Dec 2015 #27
slipslidingaway Dec 2015 #28
ReallyIAmAnOptimist Dec 2015 #31
ViseGrip Dec 2015 #32
PufPuf23 Dec 2015 #33
pablo_marmol Dec 2015 #34
ViseGrip Dec 2015 #35
ViseGrip Dec 2015 #36

Response to ViseGrip (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 02:24 PM

1. Another Du'er heard Sam on Thom Hartman and wanted more info on this issue, so here it is.

 

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

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Response to ViseGrip (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 02:28 PM

2. Let in the sunshine.

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Response to ViseGrip (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 02:35 PM

3. There is a lot of clarification in there

 

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.

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 02:40 PM

4. It sure explains TPP as well

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

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 04:10 PM

14. A bunch of lies.....Shocking....

Better vote for Bernie lest the lies continue.

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Response to ViseGrip (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 02:53 PM

5. The people behind the scenes...another one is Penny Pritzker, Sec. of Commerce...

 

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

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Response to ViseGrip (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 02:59 PM

6. The worst people in the world.

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Response to Initech (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 03:48 PM

10. Worse Than PNAC?

I think we'd differ if you answer yes.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 04:00 PM

12. They're probably the heads of PNAC.

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Response to Initech (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 04:28 PM

21. Love the Emoticon!

Well played.

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Response to Initech (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 04:11 PM

15. If only they were.

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Response to ViseGrip (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 03:10 PM

7. I've sensed something wrong

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.

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Response to fredamae (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 03:21 PM

8. Yep. When he canned all those advisors

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

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Response to mmonk (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 03:36 PM

9. Well, we were "had to some extent"

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.

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Response to fredamae (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 10:53 PM

30. DWS also ruined the Fla dem party. People there wanted her gone in 2014 after all the losses.

 

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Response to ViseGrip (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 03:58 PM

11. Also the US Chamber of Commerce

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.

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Response to deminks (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 04:04 PM

13. +1

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Response to deminks (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 04:18 PM

16. I remember reading that the U.S. CoC was scared of Edwards and made a statement that it

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

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Response to deminks (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 04:24 PM

19. Our COC also supported our Republican Gov in NC.

 

When did they become so conservative?

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Response to ViseGrip (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 04:18 PM

17. There is even more on the corruption of the DLC in the archives of DU.

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

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Response to ViseGrip (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 04:19 PM

18. Some of us wanted to see this, ViseGrip.

 

Thanks for posting!


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Response to ViseGrip (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 04:26 PM

20. Huge K & R !!!

 




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Response to ViseGrip (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 04:39 PM

22. Aarrghh, Lieberman



Couldn't get much further.




(Not really, but you get my drift, I hope)

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Response to ViseGrip (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 04:55 PM

23. So the republican 'party' and the democratic 'party' are the same.

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 !!!






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Response to pangaia (Reply #23)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 10:51 PM

29. In our time, yes, they are the same. They both fish out of the same corporate money bucket.

 

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Response to ViseGrip (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 05:15 PM

24. "Media manipulation." Heh. See that kind of manipulation at the SA Zoo monkey cages...

 

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?

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Response to ViseGrip (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 06:30 PM

25. Kick !!!

 


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Response to ViseGrip (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 06:42 PM

26. Pro business and pro-trade defines the Obama Presidency.

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.

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Response to ViseGrip (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 06:50 PM

27. People are getting the glasses now to see through the crap and how "They Live" and feed on us!

 



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...

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Response to ViseGrip (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 10:16 PM

28. knr nt

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Response to ViseGrip (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 11:06 PM

31. Does the DLC early coziness with Obama really past the 'smell' test?

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...

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Response to ReallyIAmAnOptimist (Reply #31)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 11:12 PM

32. No passing smell test here when you read this.....for sure

 

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Response to ViseGrip (Original post)

Tue Dec 29, 2015, 11:49 PM

33. Good but sad and sobering thread.

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

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Response to ViseGrip (Original post)

Wed Dec 30, 2015, 04:25 AM

34. The message of G. Carlin & F. Zappa has never rung truer. NT

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Response to ViseGrip (Original post)

Wed Dec 30, 2015, 03:12 PM

35. Activists must be able to process truth, even when it hurts. Then change the way we work.

 

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.

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Response to ViseGrip (Reply #35)

Wed Dec 30, 2015, 08:09 PM

36. PS. Even Hillary gave a message to a Trump supporter, hoping he'll come over to her side.

 

she gets the math too.

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