Beware of the extremists in moderate clothing

The rise of progressive policies and politicians in the Democratic party has clearly alarmed the oligarchy and they are responding with a slew of organizations within the party to take over the steering wheel and drive it in a corporate-friendly direction. These groups have labels that suggest that they consist of high-minded people who are above the partisan political fray and are merely seeking pragmatic bipartisan solutions to the country’s problems. These groups masquerade with names such as “No Labels’, ‘Across the Aisles’, ‘Third Way’, and ‘Problem Solvers Caucus’. The media invariably buys into the bogus narrative that these people are not partisan and promotes them as ‘centrists’ and ‘moderates’ when they are in reality extremists pushing a pro-oligarchic agenda. This is not an accident, since the major media has the same agenda as these groups.

Lee Fang writes that Democratic congressman Josh Gottheimer is a prominent member of these groups working to stop the Democratic agenda. i.e., he is working against some of the elements of his own party’s stated goals.

THE U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, the largest lobbying group representing corporate interests in the world, has worked furiously to defeat Democratic policies, from playing a key role in battling the Affordable Care Act, to spreading climate change denial, to more recent efforts to block H.R. 1, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s signature campaign reform and voting rights bill.
Now a group of centrist Democrats, led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., is scheduled to join with the Chamber in a bid to raise money.

The Intercept has previously documented the role of GOP billionaires in financing an array of PACs that played a pivotal role in electing centrist Democrats during the 2018 midterm elections. Gottheimer has also earned the ire of Democrats by working to undermine party unity on votes to constrain the Saudi Arabia-led war in Yemen and to mandate better conditions for those detained at the border. Gottheimer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Early in the Obama administration, then-Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., a leading voice for centrist Democrats, joined the Chamber-backed effort to block labor union reform, known as the Employee Free Choice Act, as well as the Waxman-Markey legislation to cap carbon emissions from industrial polluters. The senator retired from office and joined the Chamber as a consultant.

The Chamber’s political donations still tilt overwhelmingly to the Republican Party, though in recent years, the group has sought to boost centrist Democrats. Last year, the Chamber’s PAC money gave about 80 percent of funds to GOP candidates and committees, while also donating to centrists such as Gottheimer, Rep. Donald Norcross, D-N.J., and Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas.

Voluntary disclosures show the largest donors include Dow Chemical, Chevron, Microsoft, AT&T, Goldman Sachs, Anthem, Coca-Cola, and ConocoPhillips.

As I have repeatedly said before, in the US the two major parties are not Democrats and Republicans but the pro-war, pro-business party and the rest of us.


  1. Rob Grigjanis says

    I thought ‘centrist’ and ‘moderate’ had been synonyms for ‘corporate lickspittle’ for some years now.

  2. drken says

    The whole “Third Way”, “No Labels” thing was always just a bunch of conservative Democrats trying to rebrand themselves as “centrists”. The media is always on the lookout for Democrats who will attack other Democrats using Republican talking points, so they get on TV a lot.

    Also, Gottheimer only won his seat because his Republican predecessor voted to repeal the SALT deduction, a big no-no in property tax heavy NJ. If he keeps it, it’s because NJ will have a cannabis legalization referendum on the ballot in 2020.


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