Soros, Lewis and Other Big Donors Abandon Democrats For Progressives and Weed
By: Jane Hamsher Thursday September 30, 2010 9:29 am
Privately, the closed wallets of Democratic billionaires like George Soros and Peter Lewis is all that the poobahs of the DC fundraising world have been talking about for weeks. But now it’s hit the New York Times:
Many wealthy Democratic patrons, who in the past have played major roles financing outside groups to help elect the party’s candidates, are largely sitting out these crucial midterm elections.
Democratic donors like George Soros, the bête noire of the right, and his fellow billionaire Peter B. Lewis, who each gave more than $20 million to Democratic-oriented groups in the 2004 election, appear to be holding back so far.
“Mr. Soros believes that he can be most effective by funding groups that promote progressive policy outcomes in areas such as health care, the environment and foreign policy,” said an adviser, Michael Vachon. “So he has opted to fund those activities.”
Gay men, pro-choice women and environmentalists are probably the three biggest issue-based donor groups for the Democratic Party, and all three are absolutely ripshit at the way the Democrats have squandered their majorities. They’re also furious at the veal pen outfits that collaborated with the Democrats and gave them cover for their actions and have cut them off, too. Guess that weekly invite to the Common Purpose meeting turned out not to be such a hot ticket after all.
The bigger problem for the Democrats, however, is not that Lewis and Soros are sitting it out – it’s that Lewis and Soros are considered “lead donors.” Where they go, other donors follow. If they decide to sit it out, so will others.
The complaints that Soros and Lewis have are the same ones expressed by all those hippies that Robert Gibbs, Joe Biden, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have been punching. It’s a malaise felt by the entire progressive base, who can’t be spurred into action by being told to “buck up.”
I’ll tell you one thing, though. As pissed off as people are, it’s going to be nothing compared to the rage that will be unleashed if the Catfood Commission’s recommendations to cut Social Security benefits gets passed – and Alice Rivlin says the “stars are aligned” for it to happen. They could snap the spine of the Democratic party completely with that one.
Citing the same NYT piece-
Nobody Should Give Money to This Crowd
by Taylor Marsh, 30 September 2010 4:00 pm
Pres. Obama, Sen. Reid and Speaker Pelosi compromised on health care without a fight. They did deals in the dark with the insurance companies, not to mention the Catholic Church, then shoved a mandate on health care down the rest of the Democratic Party’s throat, as well as the American public, while movement progressives screamed to high heaven what it would cost them.
They passed stimulus with a big “D” on it that wasn’t what was needed, managing to get people furious about the spending, especially since it wasn’t enough to actually do the job. In other words, they failed to do their job, because they didn’t have the courage to do the stimulus that was actually needed and could have proved Democratic policies can work when they’re done the right way.
Pres. Obama, Sen. Reid and Speaker Pelosi decided that turning into the Bush era crimes of torture, intelligence tampering, as well as constitutional overreach, was not important for Democrats to take up, so not only did they let Bush-Cheney get away with what they did on the run up to the Iraq war, but the negligence of Democratic leadership, starting with Pres. Obama, has actually allowed for the rehabilitation of Bush-Cheney in some quarters.
The Catfood Commission is a prime example. The only reason this was set up is because Pres. Obama wanted it. We don’t need no stinking commission, because Congress is perfectly capable of taking care of Social Security, which means preserving it. However, like in all things, Pres. Obama wanted the cover of a commission so he could blame someone else on what he actually hopes to do: raise the retirement age; cut benefits; privatize elements of the plan. Pick one, or choose all. Why a Democrat would put in play a bipartisan commission on a signature Democratic Party issue that cemented the reputation of the party as working for financial security for all, specifically as Americans age, is something that few Democrats can stomach, myself included.
There is a cluelessness among Democratic leadership in Congress that has forgotten their job and has them siding with the Executive Branch, because Pres. Obama is one of their own, even if he is calling open season on one of the signature Democratic policies that long time Democratic voters believe in, have worked for all of their activist lives, but is also one of the policies that signifies the difference between Democrats and Republicans.
Pres. Obama has already sacrificed health care to insurance companies, putting forth a law that is disliked by the majority of the public, but also will be easy to dismantle by defunding its implementation. He’s mimicked George W. Bush on security issue after issue, while completely forgetting his promise to close Gitmo, with his promises on DADT weighing most gays and lesbians down in disbelief.
So why would anyone in their right mind give buckets of money to the Democrats right now? They shouldn’t and they aren’t, and small donations won’t cut it this time around, especially since they won’t be coming in like they used to. Something that will hit Pres. Obama over the head once re-election time begins.