Like many Democrats and Democratic operatives, David Brock is trying his best to deal with a crisis. His solution is to build a network of donors that could rival the network built by the Koch brothers in order to further push a progressive agenda. Via Politico:
Brock on Thursday night emailed more than 200 of the biggest donors on the left — including finance titans George Soros, Tom Steyer and Donald Sussman — inviting them to a retreat in Palm Beach over inauguration weekend to assess what Democrats did wrong in 2016, figure out how to correct it and raise cash for those initiatives.
“This will be THE gathering for Democratic donors from across the country to hear from a broad and diverse group of leaders about the next steps for progressives under a Trump Administration,” Brock wrote to the donors in an email obtained by POLITICO.
The retreat, planned as the first in a series of regular gatherings, will feature appearances by an array of Democratic elected officials, operatives and liberal thinkers and group officials, Brock explained in an interview.
There are a couple of takeaways from this. The first comes to us from The Resurgent:
[E]xpect this new liberal donor network to fund any left-wing version of the Tea Party that rises from the anti-Trump protests, should one do so. Indeed, some reports say there are protesters already planning to do just that.
If such a grassroots movement doesn’t emerge from the protests, expect some Brock-coordinated astroturfing to be planted in its place. The appearance of a grassroots foundation is critical to counter Trump voters’ perception that elites are pulling the strings of government against average Americans.
I’ve suspected that Bernie Sanders was the spark that will set off such a movement, but it has to be organic, which is why I wonder just how successful Brock will be in this venture.
The second takeaway here is this: The Democrats have been crying and shouting about dark money for years, have trashed the Koch brothers, and have used them as a scapegoat for their own failings as a party. They decry the Citizens United ruling as a means for the rich and powerful to buy influence in politics and to screw over the little guy. What Brock is calling for here is the same thing they accuse the Republicans of doing.
To distort a popular phrase, what’s bad for the goose is bad for the gander, correct?
Brock isn’t sending the right signals here. He is lashing out over an electoral outcome rather than an institutional problem, which is why his ventures will always fall short of what the Koch network accomplishes. He’s also telling the Democratic base that they simply were ignorant of the real issues, so what they need is for the rich to supply the funding that tells them why they were wrong in 2016.
That’s not a very good message to be sending out when your last presidential candidate lost a lot of the voters Democrats have relied on for years due to her neglect.
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