Can Democrats Get Smart?
The answer is no! But I like to share the knowledge.
By Michael Scherer
Rich liberals,(I did not know liberals could be rich, who knew) fed up with losing, are spending big bucks to create think tanks and training programs. Their goal isn't just to beat Bush, but to remake the American political landscape.
Washington -- "Devastated" does not do it justice. The day after the last presidential election, the millionaires and billionaires who fund progressive politics awoke to find their historic efforts had fallen flat. They had thrown small fortunes and thousands of work hours into the battle to defeat President Bush, blitzed swing states with television ads, placed millions of phone calls, and recruited enough Election Day workers to fill a small city. And yet George W. Bush won in a walk, increasing his margin of victory with gains in key demographics like black and Hispanic voters. In the House and the Senate, the GOP expanded its majority.
"We kind of pulled the covers up over our heads for a while," said Deborah Rappaport, who, with her venture capitalist husband, Andrew, funded several liberal 527 groups. Several of the largest liberal groups, like America Coming Together, closed up shop, merged or downsized. Activists polished their rÉsumÉs. The founders of MoveOn.org called themselves "heartbroken." The billionaire financier George Soros, who gave more than $25 million to the effort, admitted, "Obviously, I am distressed."
Liberal money was down for the count, but only temporarily. Now, nearly a year after their defeat at the polls, wealthy liberals are again pulling out their checkbooks.
But this time, they are looking beyond the midterm elections in 2006 or the presidential showdown in 2008. Dozens of the richest people in America have banded together to develop a new, permanent network of progressive organizations that will, they hope, fundamentally alter the political direction of the country. Their idea is to create a sort of venture capital firm for progressive philanthropy, a new organization they call the Democracy Alliance.