Monday, April 15, 2019

Sanders Takes the Campaign Against CAP to Eleven


From a Sanders fundraising letter sent after CAP's attack on him

by Thomas Neuburger

One of my biggest concerns about the 2016 Sanders campaign was that, at least at the beginning, it was too easily forced to apologize for attacks on supposed "allies of progressives" in the Democratic ecosystem — because "unity."

The prime example of that occurred when Sanders accused the Planned Parenthood Action Fund — not Planned Parenthood the health care organization, Planned Parenthood AF, the highly Clintonist political action committee, which had early-endorsed Clinton despite Sanders' excellent record on women's issues — of being "part of the establishment."

He was immediately accused by the rest of the establishment, falsely, of attacking Planned Parenthood clinics. And he backed down, unwisely in my view. (For more on that episode, read the first few paragraphs of this piece.)

Well, the highly Clintonist, highly corporate establishment is at it again, in the form of the corrupt Center for American Progress (CAP) and its online publication ThinkProgress. (For more on their corruption, see also here and here.) ThinkProgress published a video critical of Sanders, as Lee Fang (who also delves into their corruption) explains here:

In response to that video Sanders sent CAP a letter, saying in part:
Center for American Progress leader Neera Tanden repeatedly calls for unity while simultaneously maligning my staff and supporters and belittling progressive ideas. I worry that the corporate money CAP is receiving is inordinately and inappropriately influencing the role it is playing in the progressive movement. (emphasis mine)
Team Sanders then went a whole lot further than that in a public fundraising letter, parts of which are reproduced below. Note the expansion of the "corporate money" point from the CAP letter, and also the directness (emphasis mine throughout):
"We are under attack"

Sisters, Brothers, and Friends -

Just like that, our campaign is under attack from the corporate establishment.

This week, an organization that is the epitome of the political establishment — the Center for American Progress (CAP) — unleashed and promoted an online attack video against Bernie.

And behind the scenes on the day Bernie introduced his Medicare for All bill, they held a conference call with reporters attacking the bill.

That is the Center for American Progress’ real goal. Trying to stop Medicare for All and our progressive agenda.

CAP's leadership has been pretty upfront about their disdain for Bernie — and for all of us. They see our political revolution as a threat to their privilege and influence. ...

The Center for American Progress is an organization whose massive annual budget is bankrolled by billionaires and corporate executives that profit from finance, pharmaceutical companies, fossil fuels, and sending American jobs overseas.

Last year alone, they took funding from financial giants like Bank of America and Blackstone, whose CEO was chair of Trump's business council and is a leading Republican donor.

Before that, they cashed checks from companies like BlueCross Blue Shield, Pfizer, WalMart, and defense contractors like General Dynamics and BAE Systems.

They also took hundreds of thousands of dollars from the fossil fuel pumping United Arab Emirates while the country was bombing innocent civilians in Yemen – a war Bernie has led the fight to end.

The Center for American Progress has deep connections to the economic and political elites who have done so much damage to working families in every zip code. And what we must do today is send a message that we are prepared to fight back against those who are working day and night to defeat our movement....

In solidarity,

Team Bernie
That's powerful stuff, no-holds-barred truth-telling. Note the many bells it rings:
  • "corporate establishment"
  • "epitome of the political establishment"
  • "real goal ... stop Medicare for All and our progressive agenda"
  • "threat to their privilege and influence"
  • "massive annual budget is bankrolled by billionaires"
  • "deep connections to the economic and political elites who have done so much damage to working families"
  • "working day and night to defeat our movement"
The letter also names a few of the companies and countries that bankroll CAP — Walmart, Bank of America, Blue Cross, Blackstone, the UAE. He could have listed a great many more. There are countless stories emerging from former ThinkProgress writers about CAP leadership squelching aggressive reporting because their reports were negatively affecting CAP fundraising. Read this twitter thread by former ThinkProgress reporter Zaid Jilani to see some of those. There are others as well.

Bernie Sanders is not backing down this time. Unlike 2016, this will be a battle with the enemy named out loud and its deeds detailed. Looks like the fight, the one our country has been avoiding for years, is finally on.

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At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After Pelosi announced that "we're all capitalists here", the Party is openly corporatist. Even after all of the harm corporations have done, and increasingly are doing under Trump, the democraptic Party has clearly sold itself to do the bidding of the corporations. They see nothing wrong with selling out the people they attempt to lead for personal gain, which makes them just like the Republicans they claim to oppose.

It's really about who will get the bigger checks, isn't it?

At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is fantastic news. As a regular reader of the billionaire-owned Washington Post I’m amazed at number of commenters that regularly denounce Bernie for undermining Hillary Clinton in 2016. As if. Bernie is obviously in the race to win and will not be intimidated by the corporatist establishment. This action, exposing the hypocrisy of the Democratic elite, will not only scare the shit out of them, it will also rally his supporters who, like me, have long felt we can’t play nice with the establishment. Bernie is ready for the Revolution.

At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let us not forget that obamanation tried to get Daschle into his cabinet. The whole democrap establishment is like one huge corporate circle jerk.

So Bernie is 80-ish and he's just now learning who his enemies are? Not encouraging.

Besides, let us never forget that Bernie himself (sorry, redundancy for the sake of emphasis is called a pleonasm) collapsed into a fetal position every time he apologized for being correct and finally when he endorsed the anti-Bernie after being ratfucked by the purely fascist democrap PARTY.

All this leads a sentient being to wonder why Bernie still wants the DEMOCRAP nomination? A fish riding a bicycle would be less weird.

Whatever... the democrap electorate is faaar too stupid to wonder that.

At 2:26 PM, Blogger edmondo said...


Bernie attacks CAP but endorsed their water carrier in 2016. Please. It's all a show and Bernie is PT Barnum.

At 8:12 PM, Blogger Bev said...

And yet.... Faiz Shakir, Bernie's new campaign manager, used to work for the Center for American Progress which was founded by John Podesta.

Or am I the only one whose brain exploded with discordant clanging bells, sirens, and flashing lights seeing all the DINO establishment Dem names who undermined Bernie so badly in 2016 listed in those links?

I can't help but think that Bernie was forced to hire all those "advisers" and "consultants" by the DNC (with lots of small donations, I suspect Bernie's coffers are in better shape than the DNC, in spite of their big money corporate and warmongering donors), and the DNC and their corporate criminal cohort will all stab Bernie in the back AGAIN in 2020. And Bernie has that valuable email list the DNC would still like to get their greedy little fingers on.

At 10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the deeper you dig (you don't have to go far), the stinkier it all gets.

so be prepared to be begged to hold your noses again.


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