Ryan Grim profiles New Jersey Democratic congressman Josh Gottheimer, who seems to see himself as a Democratic ‘centrist’ (which really means ‘right winger’) enforcer to keep the new young progressives in line, especially when it comes to their criticisms of Israel and Saudi Arabia and the big banks from whose lobbies he has received plenty of money. He is also disgustingly condescending towards the new crop of women progressives. He is closely associated with the ‘Problem Solvers Caucus’ and the dark-money group ‘No Labels’, all of whom are deep-pocketed neoliberal groups seeking to maintain the status quo by pretending to be above politics and only interested in pragmatic solutions.
His boldest bid for internal power, however, came amid the push for a congressional War Powers Resolution to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. As progressives in the House neared a historic achievement, Gottheimer organized behind the scenes to take the resolution down, in part by attempting to make it a referendum on support for Israel — and very nearly succeeded.
The bill’s supporters out-organized him, and in April, Congress sent a War Powers Resolution to Trump’s desk. He vetoed their resolution, rejecting Congress’s demand that the president stop backing the Saudi-led war. Last week’s effort to override the veto failed in the Senate on a 53-to-45 vote.
Trump’s rejection of the resolution — which was led in the House by Ro Khanna, D-Calif., and in the Senate by Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Mike Lee, R-Utah — was expected. But for advocates who worked on it, Gottheimer’s intervention was unwelcome but not surprising. “He was counterproductive in a totally unnecessary way at a time when there was actually party unity on something really progressive and historic — and that unity had been fought for a long time,” said Elizabeth Beavers, who was associate policy director at Indivisible during the Yemen fight. “This is a thing that he’s doing consistently, helping to organize against progress.”
The progressive wing of the Democratic party, represented by people like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ro Khanna, and others have to fight on multiple fronts, the Republicans who want outright giveaways to the wealthy, the neoliberal Democratic party establishment who like to do so covertly, and the mainstream media that always touts the virtues of ‘moderation’ and ‘centrism’ which is just code for the preferences of the political-business–military axis.