On Wednesday, Mother Jones broke a story that dozens of liberal groups are meeting secretly in an effort to “get big money out of politics”. Except the only money they want to stop from funding political actions is money that they consider pro-Republican.
Lest you think I’m exaggerating, take a look at the headline and lead Mother Jones felt was appropriate to this story:
Revealed: The Massive New Liberal Plan to Remake American Politics
It was the kind of meeting that conspiratorial conservative bloggers dream about.
A month after President Barack Obama won reelection, top brass from three dozen of the most powerful groups in liberal politics met at the headquarters of the National Education Association (NEA), a few blocks north of the White House. Brought together by the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Communication Workers of America (CWA), and the NAACP, the meeting was invite-only and off-the-record. Despite all the Democratic wins in November, a sense of outrage filled the room as labor officials, environmentalists, civil rights activists, immigration reformers, and a panoply of other progressive leaders discussed the challenges facing the left and what to do to beat back the deep-pocketed conservative movement.
Notice that they’re no longer even trying to hide their agenda. They invited a representative from Mother Jones, one of the most liberal news organizations out there. And if it does get covered by the MSM, they will be sure to say that the group is interested in “getting big money out of politics” and not point out that the only “big money’ being targeted is Republican and conservative.
The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative newspaper, comments:
The crack researchers at the Center for American Freedom tell me that totaling the reported revenue of only a portion of the groups participating in the Democracy Initiative gives you a figure of around $1.69 billion. Somewhat ironic, isn’t it, that an association of organizations with combined revenue of more than a billion dollars is launching a campaign to get “big money out of politics.” Like all such campaigns, of course, the Democracy Initiative is less about getting money out of politics than it is about getting the wrong sort of money out of politics—in this case, the sort of money dispensed by industries and ideologues opposed to the progressive agenda.
The Democracy Initiative will “target” Chevron, “which gave $2.5 million to a Super PAC backing House Republican candidates in 2012.” The Democracy Initiative will target Google “for its continued membership with the generally pro-Republican U.S. Chamber of Commerce.” The Democracy Initiative will target the American Legislative Exchange Council, an association of businesses and state-legislators that promotes conservative laws and has been under ferocious assault from liberals seeking to stigmatize its donors and thereby cause its collapse. “We’re going to put the pressure on ALEC even more,” Phil Radford of Greenpeace told Mother Jones. ALEC should consider itself warned.
And not only ALEC: The Democracy Initiative seems to be a fairly straightforward attempt to change the rules of the game so that greens and unions can push their agenda through the Senate. The logic here is that the Democrats have at least a chance of retaking the House in 2014, in which case Sen. Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) would be the only obstacle to in-your-face progressivism.
From the mainstream media: Silence.
I listen to Glenn Beck from time to time, particuarly when I drive up to Northern VA to the office. Sometimes he’s funny, sometimes he’s right, but when he goes on and on about the Progressive agenda, I tune out. He’s paranoid, I thought. Oh, come on, he’s imagining conspiracies where there are none.
Yeah, I’m thinking I was wrong and he was right.
At the end of the day, many of the attendees closed with a pledge of money and staff resources to build a national, coordinated campaign around three goals: getting big money out of politics, expanding the voting rolls while fighting voter ID laws, and rewriting Senate rules to curb the use of the filibuster to block legislation. The groups in attendance pledged a total of millions of dollars and dozens of organizers to form a united front on these issues—potentially, a coalition of a kind rarely seen in liberal politics, where squabbling is common and a stay-in-your-lane attitude often prevails. “It was so exciting,” says Michael Brune, the Sierra Club’s executive director. “We weren’t just wringing our hands about the Koch brothers. We were saying, ‘I’ll put in this amount of dollars and this many organizers.’”
You got it? George Soros money good. Koch brothers money bad. Some big money in politics is more equal than others.
The only hopeful thing about this story is that secrecy doesn’t work all that well in the internet age. And the conservative media presence is growing stronger. This story needs to acquire legs. Pass it on.