Conservatism is not the only enemy of progressive politics. The creep of moneyed corporatism is just as important to watch out for, and it often travels under guise.
David Broder of the Washington Post uses the word “Bipartisan” to refer to a group of rich power players who have announced their intention to meet on January 7, 2008 at the University of Oklahoma. You can read the article for yourself, but I advise you not to read it literally. Instead, it should be read as part of the long-term project of David Broder Broder to broker the creation by various members of the DC Beltway dinner club circuit of a unity presidential ticket of one Republican and one Democrat in 2008. Broder seems to have concluded that the faux-populist Unity08 is incapable of accomplishing his goal, and so now he has thrown his journalistic approval to the manufacture of an openly-unpopulist independent presidential run by a group of insider power brokers.
As one of the little people in flyover country, I know it’s not my place, but I’m going to be arrogant and uppity anyway and rewrite Broder’s article with information from the ever-helpful SourceWatch:
Billionaire media mogul Michael R. Bloomberg, ranked at #34 on the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest individuals, has scheduled a meeting next week with a dozen leading powerbrokers representing the connection between corporate and political power. These powerbrokers will join him in challenging the major-party contenders to spell out their plans for forming a “government of national unity” to stop engaging in policy debates and instead unite behind their platform. If they will not do so, the corporate politicians are set to declare, they will be prepared to use their own wealth and the funds of their corporate backers to nominate a presidential candidate from their own ranks who will agree to follow their policy agenda.
Conveners of the meeting include:
* Sam Nunn. Former Democratic U.S. Senator. Senior partner in the corporate law firm of King and Spaulding, member of the board of directors of ChevronTexaco, Coca Cola, Dell Computer, General Electric, Internet Security Systems and Scientific-Atlanta. Vice Chair of the Concord Coalition.
* Charles Robb. Former Democratic U.S. Senator. Member and Vice Chairman of the board of directors of MITRE Corporation. Member of the board of directors of lobbying firm Strategic Partners LLC. Vice Chair of the Concord Coalition.
* David L. Boren. Former Democratic U.S. Senator, Member of the board of directors of Conoco Phillips, AMR Corporation, Texas Instruments, Torchmark Corporation. Member, National Coalition for Peace through Strength. President of the University of Oklahoma.
* Gary Hart. Former Democratic U.S. Senator. Member of Council on Foreign Relations.
* Chuck Hagel. Republican U.S. Senator.
* Bill Brock. Former Republican U.S. Senator. Former Chair of the Republican Party. Member of the board of directors of the Bretton Woods Committee (a group to promote the interests of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization), ResCare, Chairman of the Brock Group lobbying firm, Chairman of Intellectual Development Systems, Inc.
* John C. Danforth. Former Republican U.S. Senator. Defense attorney for corporations at Bryan Cave LLP. Bought as much as $200,000 in Bell Atlantic stock during Senate deliberations regarding a Bell Atlantic corporate merger. Member of the board of directors of Cerner Corporation, Dow Chemical Company, General American Life Insurance Company, Time Warner and MetLife, Inc.
* Christine Todd Whitman. Former Republican Governor of New Jersey. Founder and head of Whitman Strategy Group, a lobbyist organization, and lobbyist for energy industry firm TCAP and Citgo Petroleum. Co-Chair of Clean and Safe Energy, lobbying and public relations firm for nuclear power industry. Held ownership of oil wells in Texas and Colorado. Member of the board of directors of S.C. Johnson and Son, Inc., Texas Instruments, United Technologies and Council on Foreign Relations.
* William Cohen. Former Republican U.S. Senator. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of lobbyist firm The Cohen Group, which has clients including Alcoa, Baker Hughes Inc., Bechtel, General Dynamics, Iridium Satellite, Lockheed Martin, Oracle and Rolls Royce. Member of the board of directors of MIC Industries, AIG, CBS and Viacom.
* Alan Dixon. Former Democratic U.S. Senator. Partner at corporate law firm of Bryan Cave, specializing in appellate work. Advisory trustee for Bear Stearns Funds. Member of the board of directors of the National Futures Association.
* Bob Graham. Former Democratic U.S. Senator.
* Jim Leach. Former Republican Congressman.
* Susan Eisenhower. Chief of Eisenhower Group, corporate consulting group to Russian and aerospace firms on political and investment activities. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s granddaughter is part of the military-industrial complex he warned us about.
* Edward J. Perkins. Former U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, South Africa, and the United Nations. Senior Vice Provost of International Programs at the University of Oklahoma, where David Boren is president.
All but two of the group are men. All but one of the group are white. Each has a connection to either corporate leadership and advocacy or political leadership. Most have both. Only one is a currently elected politician. This small group of the powerful and connected seeks to choose the next president.
That’s not how David Broder worded it, but it’s all true.
Don’t just watch out for conservatives. Watch out for any group of powerful people that tells you it is time for national unity. What they really mean is that you should sit down, shut up, turn off your brain and follow in line like a good little sheep.