By Mark Wachtler
October 8, 2014. New York. (ONN) A prominent Capitol Hill newspaper has republished a host of previously private emails from some of the most active and influential Democratic Party operatives in the country. What they reveal is a nearly universal dislike and lack of support for presumed Presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton. The unsuspecting authors include journalists, editors, union leaders, fundraisers, `progressive leaders and Party strategists.
Will the progressive wing of the Democratic Party stick with Hillary? Image courtesy of EgbertoWillies.com.
Apparently, social media isn’t just a tool of grassroots activists, opposition political parties and the ninety-nine percent. Establishment political groups also use internet forums like Google Groups to discuss strategy, debate issues and coordinate among thousands of members scattered across the country. Recently, the private emails from one of those progressive groups was leaked to the public. They reveal what the country’s progressive leaders really think of Hillary Clinton.
According to an exclusive report from The Hill, the name of the semi-secret online group of progressive political leaders is Gamechanger Salon. Showing the club’s exclusivity, to join, one must be sponsored by a current member. The account describes the 1,500-member online group saying, ‘The group includes prominent Democrats, Sierra Club officials, journalists who work for The Huffington Post and The Nation magazine, senior union representatives, leaders at the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and the president of NARAL.’
The emails from the group made public span one year from June 2013 to July 2014. One of the most hotly debated topics is the Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign. From one end of the progressive movement to the other, the former First Lady is repeatedly criticized. The political pundits and activists accuse Clinton of being allied with Wall Street and Goldman Sachs. They call her pro-war and anti-environment. And more and more, they are suggesting Democrats find a real progressive to run for President in 2016, “like Elizabeth Warren.”
The report from The Hill doesn’t hesitate to name names and republish the private emails. One comes from Occupy Wall Street’s Melissa Byrne who said, “A Clinton presidency undoes all our progress and returns the financial interests to even more prominence than they currently have.” She goes on to say, “I have little respect for decisions Sec. Clinton has made in her career and I have a different value set from her.” Carl Gibson, a writer for Occupy.com suggested, “The establishment Dems need to be punished, and the best way for that to happen is for Warren to beat Hillary in the primary on a populist message.”
The publication also approached other members of the Democratic Party online group for their reaction to the leaked emails and the fact that they reveal widespread contempt for Hillary Clinton. Mike Lux, a Party strategist, former aide to Bill Clinton and a member of the group told The Hill the anti-Hillary sentiment has only gotten worse since the emails were leaked. He says his fellow progressives, “are probably more worried at this point rather than less.”
Neil Sroka, spokesman for Democracy for America, agreed with that statement telling the outlet, “There’s good reason to believe the discontent remains the same.” Charles Lenchner, Executive Director of Organizing 2.0, called Clinton “tainted” because of her past pro-war positions, most recently as Secretary of State and even more so with her vote for the Iraq War while in the US Senate. “Personally, I would like to see a Democratic Party where folks who enabled George Bush to drag the country into a permanent war are punished at the ballot box,” he said.
Political commentator and Democratic strategist Ryan Clayton remarked in one email, “The more Progressives I talk to, the more people tell me that they’ll never forgive her for voting for the Iraq War…and won’t even vote for her in the general.” In another email from former Clinton administration aide Mike Lux, he warned, “I also came to know how close she was to the pro-Wall Street forces inside the administration and out, and the downsides on foreign policy are all very real. So I will hesitate for a long time before jumping into her campaign.”
Elizabeth Warren, the real progressive
According to the candid comments and emails of the group members, today’s Democratic base is longing for US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to run for President in 2016. Former Clinton aide Mike Lux said of Warren, “She represents most of what I have been looking for in a Presidential candidate for my entire career in politics and who is besides a dear friend.”
Environmental activist, lobbyist and member of the exclusive Democratic online group, Marc Weiss, also spoke highly of Senator Warren, but criticized her on environmental issues. “I love Elizabeth Warren,” he confirmed, “She’s great on holding Wall Street accountable and many pocketbook issues I care about, but she hasn’t talked about climate change publicly since she was elected.”
The founder of the suddenly popular progressive Google group, Bill Wimsatt, is also a staunch Elizabeth Warren fan. In a discussion about Sen. Warren’s repeated denials that she’s running in 2016, he wrote, “I’m ready for something better and Warren is the only person on the radar who might be significantly better. Warren doesn’t need to appreciate it. Leadership isn’t fun. She doesn’t get to tell people that we can’t want something better.”
Occupy.com’s Carl Gibson also seemingly endorsed Elizabeth Warren over Hillary Clinton, touting the Massachusetts Senator’s, “ovaries of steel.” He went on to warn, “Another establishment pick from a political dynasty family will drive folks to the green party.” Party strategist Ryan Clayton agreed saying, “If we have no Progressive candidate with legitimate street cred about taking effective bold action to face the vital issues we’re confronting as a country today (which is pretty much Warren and…cricket, cricket…) in the race for Presidency, that means the abandonment of the Democratic Party by the reemerging and resurgent Left in America.”
At this early stage in the 2016 Presidential race, there aren’t even any official candidates yet. So, it’s difficult to prognosticate. But based on events over the past few years, the scenario is shaping up to where Republicans will nominate the anti-Wall Street Senator Rand Paul (R-KY). And the Wall Street wing of the GOP, as they’ve promised to do in the case of a Paul nomination, will defect to the Hillary Clinton camp. If that turns out to be the case, independents and libertarians will be supporting the Republican, Republicans will be supporting the Democrat, and Democrats will be left without a chair in America’s political game of 2016 musical chairs.