Markos at CAP event: “that grassroots Bernie thing” is detriment to party.
This is the group called the Center for American Progress. It seems to be a big factor in controlling Democratic policies. It was started by John Podesta, and it is led now by Neera Tanden.
They held their Ideas Conference yesterday at the Four Seasons. The cost was $1000 a head. No one who ran for president in 2016 was invited.
Markos of Daily Kos was there of course, and he had a chance to have his say. The Nation covered his remarks briefly.
But there was an awkward absence: Senator Bernie Sanders. He was not invited to the “Ideas Conference,” and his exclusion makes clear that, while Democrats are converging around a general set of ideological principles, the party still faces some serious coalition-building problems.
CAP president Neera Tanden explained to The Washington Post that “We were trying to emphasize a new generation,” and a CAP spokesperson told The Nation that nobody who ran for president before was invited.
That’s true as far as it goes, but with any scrutiny it feels more like a post facto justification for not including Sanders. There’s a big difference between Hillary Clinton—now a private citizen with no future electoral plans—and Sanders, a sitting senator who polls as the most popular politician in the country and who has pointedly not ruled out a 2020 presidential campaign. The press materials for the conference proclaimed it would “bring together national leaders of the progressive cause,” and there’s no real way Sanders doesn’t fit that description, or rationally should have been excluded simply because he ran for president last year. (The presence of Susan Rice and Tom Daschle onstage also puts considerable strain on the idea that only new voices were being elevated.)
Attendance was restricted in other ways, too. There was no website for the event, which was held at the swanky Four Seasons hotel, nor a way for anyone to attend unless CAP sent a personal invite. (Though one could pay $1,000 to attend the “Progressive Party” after the conference.) The audience was primarily donors to the think tank, as well as CAP’s professional allies across DC and a whole bunch of media.
This left the event with a distinctly elite feel, despite the genuinely populist economic agenda that was being promoted. Daily Kos founder and self-appointed “granddaddy of the resistance” Markos Moulitsas drove the point home when he huffed during a panel about “that grassroots Bernie thing” and how it was a detriment to the party.
This paragraph sums it up well:
And that’s the real split in the party right now: between the grassroots and the establishment represented at the Four Seasons on Tuesday. It’s less about Bernie versus the Clintonistas, but rather that the wide array of socialist activists, community organizers and radical labor groups that existed for quite a while in Democratic Party politics and lined up behind Sanders when he ran for president are now feeling energized and emboldened.
In fact Simon Rosenberg of the New Dems Network predicted the same back in 2004.
What happens to the losing team
If there’s a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party, predicts Simon Rosenberg, president of the New Democrat Network, a moderate advocacy group, it won’t be the usual skirmish between the liberals and moderates of the professional political class in Washington but one between the Washington insiders on one side and the rank-and-file activists spread out across the country on the other.
I found this quote on the DLC website in 2003. The author thought the internet would be a bad thing for the organized Democratic party, and it turns out that he might just be right in the long run.
Someone named Randolph Court wrote this for the DLC website in 2003. Link is dead, but I saved the quote. The article was called “Nothing but Net”. It shows they were quite aware of how the internet would bring change they did not want.
The Internet may be giving angry, protest-oriented activists the rope they need to hang the party. The vaunted new medium for grassroots political organizing may in fact be contributing to the Iowafication of the nominating process, disproportionately magnifying the voices of the activist groups with the loudest, most combative, and populist voices.
The Nation article link above quotes a party activist who attended the Ideas Conference. Just about sums it up.
“They charge $1,000 per ticket to attend their ‘Progressive Party’…and eat canapes while wondering why they are out of touch with the rest of the country.”immoderate, spud demon, Bernblu and 80 othersFloriTexan, NothingcleverjustRay, tonyl, DesertRat2015, libodem, ctsnowman, mntleo2, Iwillnevergiveup, xynthee, 3FingerBrown, PDiddie, Blackspade, canoeist52, Liberal-Cat, ReTooled, Hari, a2liberal, strangeviews, NJOCK, disillusioned73, farleftlib, leftcoastmountains, ThinkingANew, Abelenkpe, Marym625, ronRonnie, FloridaProg, leveymg, weags, Populist Prole, Mom Cat, Coincidence, FanBoy, HeartoftheMidwest, Pacco Fransisco, Enthusiast, Jefferson23, JEB, Rozinante, PuffGranny, Average Gazoo, Scott Crowder, glinda, twenty, joentokyo, snot, BlueAK, beltanefauve, , ravensong, OCMI, Katashi, Charles, dreamnightwind, Tuesday, PADemD, HubHeaver, morningglory, cui bono, Pam, Doremus Jessup, Rocker, hopemountain, Stockholmer, Ferd Berfel, bbgrunt, Mnpaul, nevereVereven, historylovr, Fuddnik, Satan, mmonk, Segami, frylock, iggy, Octafish, 7wo7rees, Baba OhReally, djean111, azurnoir like thisIf a person is required to be loyal to a political party and not question their stands on issues, then any semblance of real truth is lost. https://twitter.com/madfloridian
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