Earlier this week, the think tank New America expelled a subsidiary called Open Markets, led by Barry Lynn. New America is funded in large part by Google. In June, Open Markets put out a press release lauding the European Union’s multi-billion dollar sanctions against Google. You connect the dots. Here’s a backgrounder.
New America’s leader, Ann-Marie Slaughter, has been furiously and ineffectively spinning this week. (Atrios’ one sentence on her leadership pretty much says it all.) Her latest excuse-making exercise includes this gem:
Nothing we say is going to convince the many people who want to believe a David versus Goliath story of Barry Lynn versus big bad Google. On the contrary, Barry’s new organization and campaign against Google is the opening salvo of one group of Democrats versus another group of Democrats in the run-up to the 2020 election, at a time when I personally think the country faces far greater challenges of racism, violence, a broken political system, and geographic and partisan divisions so great that we are losing any common sense of what we stand and strive for as a country.
Translation: if we don’t shut up about my little think tank imbroglio, we may lose the 2020 election.
That really is some prime bullshit. First, monopolies contribute to our “broken political system”. Raising consciousness about the way that monopolies make our lives shitty, and being the party with a solution, is an election winner in 2018, 2020 and beyond. Second, if our party is so fucking delicate that a little debate in 2017 is going to sink our 2020 chances, maybe we need to talk about that instead of sweeping it under the rug. Third, I think we’re on the way to party unity over a key set of policies that are going to have broad appeal to our traditional constituencies. For proof of that, see the recent unity over Medicare for all between Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders.
Frankly, I’m sick of shit stirring and fear mongering with the goal of shutting people up. The only fear I have after reading Slaughter’s piece is that someone will think that she has some insight into the Democratic party. She needs to find a way to save her $500K a year gig that doesn’t involve claptrap like this.