Despite all the accusations prompted by MAGA fever dreamers (George Soros paid for those Jewish space lasers over California!), normal Americans don’t have anything remotely commensurate with the funding sources and highly sophisticated organizational infrastructure of the far Right. That worries me.
A recent report from the Tampa Bay Times began by following just one of the many astroturf groups masquerading as spontaneous grassroots organizations.
This one was “Moms for Liberty.” Much like similarly misnamed organizations (“Patriots for Truth, Justice & the American Way,” or “Grandmas for Cuddly Kittens”), “Moms for Liberty” emerged pretty much full grown during the most recent assault on public education. The author applied a four-part test to determine whether any particular educational group was legitimate or contrived.
The first part of the test is financial: has the organization grown at a pace that only an undisclosed donor’s monetary resources could manage?
Moms for Liberty incorporated as an Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(4) organization, a form that lends itself to dark money political shenanigans. It exploded on the scene with its leaders being guests on Fox News and breaking into the Washington Post. It has a well-developed website and extensive social media reach. Moms for Liberty has formed three federal and one state political action committees, one of which is a SuperPAC able to accept unlimited donations. Its careers page is seeking state coordinators to work with the chapter chair coordinator, and a communications officer.
This “grassroots” group of “just-your-average-mom” members also managed to hold a fund raiser with Megyn Kelly (top ticket $20,000), and to co-host The American Dream Conference featuring former Trump Cabinet secretary Ben Carson. An upcoming national summit (presenting sponsorships for $50,000 are sold out), will feature Ron DeSantis, Carson, Sen. Rick Scott and Betsy DeVos.
Just your average PTA members….
So who is really funding these Rightwing mamas? Here’s a clue: they aren’t getting by on T-shirt sales.
They’ve barely even heard of the Koch brothers! Yet perhaps they’ve heard of the Council for National Policy. Two of Moms for Liberty’s National Summit sponsors, the Leadership Institute and Heritage Foundation are critical members of the Council for National Policy, a secretive network of right wing billionaires and Christian fundamentalist leaders that underwrites and coordinates right wing politics.
When the author looked to see who is really running the operation, he found that one of the two purported “founders” –Tina Descovich –is a communications and marketing professional. The other–Tiffany Justice (surely not her real name)– is a former Florida school committee member. He also discovered a third, “silent” founder, one Bridget Ziegler, whose husband just happens to be vice chairman of the Florida Republican Party and the owner of a political marketing firm. He has boasted that Moms for Liberty will provide crucial ground support for DeSantis’ re-election.
Another part of the test revolves around whether the genuinely grassroots folks suckered into joining the organization have any clue what the organization is really all about. Moms for Liberty may have “activated and harnessed” actual anger and grievance, but–as the article notes–that doesn’t mean those people understand that they are being manipulation for partisan political purposes.
Perhaps the most telling aspect of the author’s “deep dive” into the bona fides of Moms for Liberty is the identification of the nefarious network of which it is a part:
Then there’s the odd coincidence of so many grassroots parents organizations arising at the same time with similar missions. Parents Defending Education is Koch-connected. The Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council claims credit for the havoc wreaked by anti-Critical Race Theory legislation. The Council for National Policy’s Leadership Institute commenced its own program to take over school boards. The Council for National Policy-connected Turning Point USA initiated a School Board Watch List for reporting “woke” school boards.
Reading all this, I vacillated between disgust and grudging admiration. These interlocking astroturf organizations are dishonest and manipulative–but they’re effective. You’ve got to give the Christian Nationalists credit for their success in controlling the narrative, and making it far more probable that America will continue to be dominated by a minority of truly despicable theocrats.
Meanwhile, the people I consider to be “the good guys” are happily forming circular firing squads and scrounging for five-dollar donations on Facebook. If Soros is funding any of them, I’ve missed it.
Have I mentioned that I’ve been hitting the booze more frequently since 2016?
12 thoughts on “Where’s George Soros When We Need Him?”
Most of your followers here benefit from George Soros and the establishment crowd without knowing it. George is part of the Davos crowd. At least he’s smart enough to understand that climate change will kill us before anything else.
Despite his push for clean energy, he also backs the non-diplomatic events in Ukraine, Yemen, and Israel.
George is also priming the pump for Iran, China, and Russia.
If climate change doesn’t cause enough disastrous outcomes, a nuclear war will do the job.
These are your oligarchs pulling the strings. But, of course, their money simply buys obedience from university presidents, media conglomerates, political parties, etc.
Who do you think ordered the press away from the visit of Biden to the murdering despots of oil in Saudi Arabia? 😉
Joe Biden called MbS a “pariah,” and now he’ll kneel and kiss his ring for pumping oil. If only one camera in the world could catch that photo! 🙂
We’ve had two years of committee hearings on 1/6, and how many times has one Democrat mentioned Charles Koch’s name? LOL
Do these groups have membership registration booths at the P.T. Barnum Museum? “There’s a sucker born every minute.” and the business of these organizations of confidence tricksters is booming today thanks to Trumpism. No bigger suckers than those paying $25,000 per plate (probably fast food take-out) to dine with the head political trickster. At that price; does he include the box of crayons with the place mats to color as they wait for his appearance?
“Meanwhile, the people I consider to be “the good guys” are happily forming circular firing squads and scrounging for five-dollar donations on Facebook. If Soros is funding any of them, I’ve missed it.”
You keep looking for George Soros; personally, I’m wondering where Bernie Sanders, the Master of Grassroots Donations, is today while we fight Manchin’s one-man demolition derby in the Senate, waiting for him to yell “fire” at the circular firing squad. Would President Biden be in Saudi Arabia today if Manchin didn’t have a strangle hold on fossil fuel?
I must agree with Todd’s assessment, at least the part concerning the Jan 6 Commission’s failure to go after the dark money behind the end of democracy in America.
George Soros is among the finest people in the world in these days of autocratic/tyranny based lunatics. He has devoted most of his adult life to helping “backward” cultures grow into keen democracies. Is that not the reason that today’s tyranic forces try to undermine him with assinine remarks?
Our dear governor DeMentis addressed the crowd at Moms for Liberty’s first annual convention, telling them they need to get ready to fight. Makes me wonder how many of them already own AR-15s and if the governor will provide them for those who don’t. One thing we know from our experience of the last few years is that the louder you are, the more attention you will get from the media as well as the cowardly elected officials.
Sadly, it’s virtually impossible to boycott Koch products, but try your best to do just that.
Back in the early 20th century, there was no astro-turf. But there we slime capitalists. Italy was once a monarchy (Victor Emanuel being the last king of Italy) and a democracy too. Then along came the loudmouth fascist who promised working people the world, and gave them many things after he came to power. One of those things was promoting HIS big lie. Soon, he embraced Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist party and plunged his people into war. Uh oh. That’s not what they bargained for at all. Instead, they became occupied by the Devil’s disciples. The lesson here:
NEVER BELIEVE THE LIARS WHO PROMISE THE MOON AND DELIVER THE OUTHOUSE.
Now, our SCOTUS has delivered the ultimate outhouse: Citizens United v. FEC that makes corruption legal. The capitalists couldn’t believe their good fortune and took a few years to jump on that train. We are awash with corrupt politicians, most of them like those idiots mentioned in the blog. But when idiots are allowed to rule the people, bad things happen, man.
Irrespective of what Todd says about who is doing what, the capitalists understand only one thing: PROFIT. They may be decent people at home and enjoy momma’s home cooking, but in the business milieu, they are ruthless anti-democrats. They are compelled to have complete control, and the control these days is the money. George Soros won’t bail out the bumbling Democratic party. He’s a capitalist too and will find a way to protect his wealth and his businesses against the raging fascists now trying to destroy our Constitution and the nation.
We often forget that capitalism’s optimum environment is slavery. Why else would we need labor unions so that people could actually live in their own homes. But now inflation – created by the moguls of capitalism – is destroying that opportunity across the land. In my town of Denver, Colorado, rents are so expensive that working people have to work two jobs just to keep the rain out, never mind sending their kids to college.
College? Oh. The capitalists see most education, including college, as their own private, elitist purview. They cannot allow the masses to be educated lest they see through the scams of big business and profit taking.
So, the problem with the Democrats is they play too nice. Watch what happens when a Democrat kicks a Republican in the groin. The lies come out like an erupting volcano. Why, because lies and deceit are all the Republicans have. How else are they going to get working people to donate their last five-dollar bill to a corrupt candidate?
Stan keeps bragging about leaving the country. What a joke! EVERY democracy will fall after ours does. The capitalists have their money in the foreign banks for two reasons: (1) to avoid paying U.S. taxes on their profits and (2) to fund their soon-to-be puppets who control those banks – and the money – in those foreign countries. Go read/watch “The Panama Papers” if you think I’m wrong.
George Soros? Not gonna help. This time, the next civil war/revolution WILL be televised. Stay tuned.
We allow campaign donations to define the country because the lawmakers we elect love them and even a wise slug knows why.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Our email inboxes don’t need to be filled with donation requests. Our entertainment media doesn’t have to be filled with endless, useless, campaign ads. The candidates with the wealthiest friends or the message that most resonates among the bottomless pockets don’t have to win every election.
The alternative is simple campaign funding reform. Make paid-for campaign ads illegal and pass laws that replace them with informative messages, like debates that taxpayers pay for instead.
The risk is that the no longer objective but politicized SCOTUS now in power would find regulating the impact of wealth would conflict with their rights to free speech.
Caleb Maupin said in 1848 there were 200 revolutions around the world. We may be entering another such age.
Todd, if I benefit from George Soros, or his Open Society Foundations, it’s only because I paid my own way through college, had a
51 year career in mental health, am independently un-wealthy, and love to read, including the books that Koch, DeSantis, and their
slimy. lying ilk, will probably try to ban, sooner, or later.
But, yes, Sheila, we certainly could do with some decent organization. I think that the reason we don’t have this at anywhere near
the level the right-wingnuts do is because they have an agenda on which they have been laser (non-Sosos) focused upon for
the last 50, or so, years. It is about power and control, for the few, in a context of White Christian Supremacy. This is much more narrowly
defined than any majority wish to just find a way for most people to have decent, unencumbered lives.
George Soros – MIA. How about Bezos, Gates, Buffett – all supposed “good guys”?
A psychopath often keeps a target person off balance by accusing the person of the exact issues and concerns that the person is beginning to harbour about the psychopath. Psychologically, this pushes the target away from the ideas the psychopath doesn’t want them to have. They are expert manipulators.
This is the GOP; they habitually accuse their opponents of the very underhanded things they are doing. So, for example, they suggest Soros is behind all sorts of things, while their ultra-rich are doing exactly those things. And it works, just like the psychopath’s target, their opponents shy away from doing and acting in those ways.
It’s just normal human psychology. When accused of doing something underhanded, it’s an affront, and you try even harder to avoid those actions.
The issue isn’t so much the ultra-rich run things. The problem is that the psychopaths run things, and most of them don’t want to help all us little people.
Comments are closed.