Just one more reason to support Senator Obama — some deep-pocket Dem Party backers are trying to gag Nancy Pelosi by threatening to withhold support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee if she doesn’t watch her words. Pelosi had urged superdelegates to support the candidate with the most pledged delegates by the time of the nominating convention this summer. Twenty donors who have given the DCCC nearly $3 million since 1999 have implied that they will stop being so generous if Pelosi doesn’t keep her opinions to herself.
This came up on last night’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Jonathan Alter speaks:
ALTER: Well, theyâ€˜re saying we are the rich people in the party and itâ€˜s almost like a little bit of a threat to Nancy Pelosi, but it carries a lot less weight than it would have in the past. And hereâ€˜s why. I know a lot of these folks. This is the financial backbone of the Democratic Party. These are long time Clinton backers who are very upset right now that their candidate seems to be going down the tubes.
They used to, essentially run the finances of the Democratic Party. Now, you have a situation where you have a candidate who has raised so much more than any other candidate in American history and his average donation, Barack Obamaâ€˜s, is $109.
So, he has tapped into hundreds of thousands of small donors who made this crowd of wealthy donors much, much less relevant in the Democratic Party, and their threat to Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean and the rest, much, much less relevant than it would have been, say four years ago.
OLBERMANN: Right. Human beings versus dinosaurs, it sounds like if you have that comparison, if that were biologically possible.
Notice that Pelosi hasn’t endorsed either candidate. She’s just saying what she thinks is good for the party. She’s the bleeping Speaker of the bleeping House, and the money people are trying to shut her up.
The twenty donors probably are not evil people, but who can say what they expect for their money?
One of the reasons the Dem party hasn’t been worth a bucket of warm piddle since the 1970s is that, once the old New Deal coalition broke up, the Dems have had to crawl to Big Money special interests to get the funds to run for office. As others have said, the Dems have had to get in line for the second biggest checks. That has put a big limit on how “progressive” they can afford to be, if you catch my drift. It’s the reason why so-called “liberals” like the Clintons never seem to accomplish much that’s all that, y’know, liberal. In the past several years sorta moderately not too far Right is the best we’ve been able to hope for.
Moveon.org has an online petition. Moveon.org says,
A group of millionaire Democratic donors are threatening to stop supporting Democrats in Congress because Nancy Pelosi said that the people, not the superdelegates, should decide the Presidential nomination.
They’re Clinton supporters and they’re trying to use their high-roller status to strong arm the Democratic leaders.
So let’s tell Nancy Pelosi that if she keeps standing up for regular Americans, thousands of us will have her back.
A compiled petition with your individual comment will be presented to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leadership.
The online Clinton supporters, meanwhile (no links; you know who they are) are outraged that Pelosi would meddle with the political process and defy the will of the people. I’m serious. I guess the only people allowed to have “will” are the ones with money.
And look who’s been reduced to quoting Karl Rove. This is so sad. Please, everybody, get a grip.
Update: Obama “raised $91 million in the first two months of 2008 alone, most of it in small amounts over the Internet.” Somehow that not quite $3 million in nine years doesn’t seem so grand.