America’s Billionaires Congealing Around Warren And Buttigieg
Authored by Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org,
The Democratic Presidential candidates who have been the most backed by billionaires have not been doing well in the polling thus far, and this fact greatly disturbs the billionaires. They know that the Democratic nominee will be chosen in the final round of primaries, and they have always wanted Pete Buttigieg to be in that final round. Therefore, they have backed him more than any of the other candidates. But what worries them now is that his opponent in that round might turn out to be Bernie Sanders, whom they all consider to be their nemesis.
They want to avoid this outcome, at all costs. And they might have found a way to do it: Elizabeth Warren. Here is how, and why:
Among the top three in the polling — Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren — only Biden is among the top five in the number of billionaires who have backed him, and each of the other four candidates scores higher than Biden does in the number of billionaire backers. Furthermore, Biden is sinking in the polls. Consequently, Democratic Party billionaires are increasingly worrying that their Party might end up nominating for the Presidency someone whom they won’t support. That person would be Sanders. And the Democratic National Committee — which relies heavily upon its billionaire backers in order to be able to win elections (just as the Republican National Committee relies upon Republican billionaire backers in order to win) — is terrified by this possibility (alienating its Party’s crucial moneybags).
The saving grace for these billionaires (and for the DNC) increasingly seems likely to be Senator Warren’s candidacy, which draws support away from Sanders, and therefore gives Buttigieg a chance ultimately to win the nomination.
As of August 30th, the most-comprehensive website reporting on the latest polling information and trendlines concerning the Democratic Party presidential primary contests, https://projects.economist.com/democratic-primaries-2020/, reports that more registered Democrats are considering whether to vote for Warren (50%) than for any of the other candidates, including #2 Biden (48%), and #3 Sanders (38%). The percentages shown there as currently intending to vote for each one of those are 27% Biden, 18% Warren, and 16% Sanders. Buttigieg is currently only at 5% who are intending. The “intending” trendlines are downward for all of the candidates except Warren, whose trendline is steadily upward ever since May and is trending to surpass Biden at around the time when the primaries actually start in February 2020. So: right now, Warren clearly seems to be the likeliest winner of the Democratic Party’s nomination. The likeliest possibility to block that would be for Sanders to reduce his loss of progressive voters to Warren, and for Warren to start trending downward while Sanders trends upward; so, that’s what the billionaires would want to prevent from happening.
On August 27th, the top website for Democratic Party activists, Political Wire, headlined “Warren Overtakes Biden as Most Favorable Candidate”, and reported that not only does Warren now edge out both Biden and Sanders in net favorability rating, and top the entire field of candidates in that extremely important measure, but Warren is overwhelmingly the most frequently mentioned second choice of Democratic Party primary voters, which means that not only would the voters who intend to vote for her in the primary be delighted if she were to become the Democratic nominee — this outcome would also likeliest produce the most-unified Party going into the general election. This, in turn, would mean that Democratic Party billionaires, instead of Republican Party billionaires, would almost certainly control the country after 2020 — the country would be controlled by people such as Thomas Steyer and Donald Sussman, instead of by people such as Sheldon Adelson and Paul Singer. It would be a different ‘democracy’, but not really much different; it would be like the difference between George W. Bush and Barack Obama — it would be different in rhetoric and bumper-stickers, but very similar in actual policies. (For examples: whereas Bush invaded and destroyed Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama invaded and destroyed Libya and Syria; and, all the while, both of them supported the Sauds and Israel; and, moreover, both of them supported Wall Street, though Obama tongue-lashed them, which Bush didn’t.) So: though the rhetoric is sometimes different, the basic policies aren’t. The policies of Republican billionaires and of Democratic billionaires are basically similar.
As of just a few weeks ago, the Democratic Party’s five top U.S. Presidential candidates, in terms of whom had been backed the most strongly by America’s billionaires, were, in order from the top: Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Michael Bennett, and Joe Biden. Warren was 12th down from Buttigieg’s #1 position, in support from the billionaires. Sanders was at the very bottom — zero billionaires backing him (he was the only one of the 17 reporting candidates who had no billionaire backer).
The Democratic Party’s billionaires are just crazy about Buttigieg, but the question right now is whom will they choose to be running against him during the decisive final round of the primaries? Would they rather it be Sanders? Or instead Warren?
They definitely prefer Warren. Her recent soaring poll-numbers are raising her support, from them, so strongly that the neoconservative-neoliberal (i.e., pro-billionaire) David Bradley’s The Atlantic magazine headlined on August 26th, “Elizabeth Warren Manages to Woo the Democratic Establishment”. This magazine reported (to use my language, not theirs) that the rats from the sinking ship Joe Biden have begun to jump onboard the U.S.S. Elizabeth Warren’s rising ship, which might already be tied even-steven with the other two leading ships, of Biden and of Sanders. Since Sanders is the only American Presidential candidate whom no billionaire supports, there are strong indications that Warren is drawing some of them away from Biden. This could turn the nominating contest into, ultimately, Buttigieg versus Warren (both of whom are acceptable to billionaires), instead of into Buttigieg versus Sanders (which would pose the threat to them of producing a Sanders Presidency). There is little reason to think that Buttigieg will decline to the #2 position in billionaires’ support; but, if this contest turns into Sanders v. Buttigieg, instead of into Warren v. Buttigieg, then Democratic Party billionaires not only would pour even more money into Buttigieg’s campaign against Sanders, but they would likely end up donating to the Republican Presidential nominee in 2020 if Sanders ends up beating Buttigieg (as polls indicate he almost certainly would). By contrast, if this nominating contest ends up being between Warren v. Buttigieg, then the Party’s billionaires wouldn’t likely switch to supporting the Republican Presidential nominee — they’d continue donating to the Democratic Party, regardless of which of those two candidates wins the nomination, in order to defeat Trump (or whomever the Republican nominee turns out to be), and take the control of the country away from Republican billionaires (as it now is).
Therefore, David Bradley’s propaganda organs are turned on, really hot, by Lizzie. For some typical examples, at Bradley’s biggest-circulation one, The Atlantic, its recent stories gushing about her have been headlined: “Elizabeth Warren Had Charisma, and Then She Ran for President”, and “Elizabeth Warren’s Big Night”, and “The Activist Left Already Knows Who It Wants for President”. For example: the last-mentioned of those articles was about “Netroots Nation, a conference that’s been around since the early 2000s,” which “is run by the liberal political blog Daily Kos.” Here’s what it hides: Daily Kos was founded and owned by the CIA asset and El Salvadorian aristocrat Markos Moulitsas, a ‘former’ Republican far-right person, who set up his website in 2002 and suddenly specialized in fooling progressive Democrats to endorse whomever the billionaire-run Democratic National Committee wants them to support. Unlike David Bradley’s ‘moderate’-Democrat rags, Moulitsas’s ‘progressive’-Democrat rag, Daily Kos, targets to make suckers of Democrats who might vote in the primaries for people that the billionaires actually fear — and that’s now especially Sanders — in order to turn them instead toward favoring the ‘mainstream’, ‘more electable’, Democratic Party candidates (such as Biden, Buttigieg, and Harris — not David Bradley’s darling as Buttigieg’s stalking horse, Warren). In 2016, that ‘mainstream’ was Hillary Clinton (whom the DNC had rigged the primaries to ‘win’ against Sanders), but more recently it was Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg; and, now, this ‘mainstream’ is starting to include (from the billionaires’ standpoint) Elizabeth Warren. That’s because Warren is vastly more preferred by billionaires than is Sanders, and so they want the Party’s progressives to choose her, instead of Sanders, so that the final Democratic Presidential contest will be between Warren versus the billionaires’ actual favorite, which is Buttigieg. If they can’t get him, at least they can get her, the Party’s billionaires clearly now are hoping.
On April 19th, Jonathan Martin headlined in the New York Times, “‘Stop Sanders’ Democrats Are Agonizing Over His Momentum”, and he opened:
“When Leah Daughtry, a former Democratic Party official, addressed a closed-door gathering of about 100 wealthy liberal donors in San Francisco last month, all it took was a review of the 2020 primary rules to throw a scare in them. … “I think I freaked them out,” Ms. Daughtry recalled with a chuckle, an assessment that was confirmed by three other attendees. They are hardly alone. … But stopping Mr. Sanders … could prove difficult for Democrats.
Martin went on to say:
His strength on the left gives him a real prospect of winning the Democratic nomination and could make him competitive for the presidency if his economic justice message resonates in the Midwest as much as Mr. Trump’s appeals to hard-edge nationalism did in 2016. And for many Sanders supporters, the anxieties of establishment Democrats are not a concern.
That prospect is spooking establishment-aligned Democrats. …
David Brock, the liberal organizer [founder of the Media Matters anti-progressive Democratic Party website against Republicans], … said he has had discussions with other operatives about an anti-Sanders campaign and believes it should commence “sooner rather than later.” …
Howard Wolfson [here’s the wiki on him], who spent months immersed in Democratic polling and focus groups on behalf of former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, had a blunt message for Sanders skeptics: “People underestimate the possibility of him becoming the nominee at their own peril.” …
The matter of What To Do About Bernie and the larger imperative of party unity has, for example, hovered over a series of previously undisclosed Democratic dinners in New York and Washington organized by the longtime party financier Bernard Schwartz [the billionaire former Vice Chairman of Lockheed Martin]. …
[Rufus] Gifford [former President Barack Obama’s 2012 finance director, who] … has gone public in recent days with his dismay over major Democratic fund-raisers remaining on the sidelines, said of Mr. Sanders, “I feel like everything we are doing is playing into his hands.”
But the peril of rallying the party’s elite donor class against a candidate whose entire public life has been organized around confronting concentrated wealth is self-evident: Mr. Sanders would gleefully seize on any Stop Bernie effort.
“You can see him reading the headlines now,” Mr. Brock mused: “‘Rich people don’t like me.’”
So: the rise of Elizabeth Warren gives the billionaires a ‘progressive’ candidate who might either win the nomination or else at least split progressive voters during the primaries (between Sanders and Warren) and thus give the nomination to Buttigieg, who is their first choice (especially since both Biden and Harris have been faltering so badly of late).
This explains the gushings for Warren, at such neocon rags as The Atlantic, The New Republic, New Yorker, and Mother Jones. It’s being done in order to set up the final round, so as for its outcome to be acceptable to the billionaires who fund the Democratic Party. Her record in the U.S. Senate is consistently in support of U.S. invasions, coups, and sanctions against countries that have never invaded nor even threatened to invade the U.S., such as Venezuela, Palestine, Syria, and Iran; she’s 100% a neocon (just like G.W. Bush, Obama and Trump were/are); and, to billionaires, that is even more important than her policy-record regarding Wall Street is, because the Military Industrial Complex, which she represents, is even more important to enforcing and spreading the U.S. megacorporate empire than the investment-firms are. So, whereas they would be able to deal with Warren, they wouldn’t be able to deal with Sanders, whose policy-record is remarkably progressive in all respects, and not only on domestic U.S. matters. Whereas the public pay attention virtually only to domestic matters, billionaires care even more about foreign than about domestic affairs — and this fact — more than anything else — makes Sanders utterly unacceptable to them.
Under a President Warren, America’s string of invasions, coups, and economic blockades (sanctions) would continue; but, under a President Sanders, all of that wasted money would be spent instead on improving the lives of the American people, rather than on destroying the lives of the residents in those foreign lands so as to conquer those lands in the name of advancing ‘human rights’ and ‘democracy’ there and of ‘defending America’ against ‘enemies’ who never even have threatened us.
This con is the reality that both the Democratic and the Republican sides of The Establishment (the collective operation of all billionaires and their ‘news’-media and think tanks, etc.) constantly hide from the public. And that is why, for example, America went from invading Iraq on the basis of lies in 2003, to invading Libya on the basis of lies in 2011, and Syria on the basis of lies in 2013-, and maybe Venezuela and Iran on the basis of lies after the upcoming Presidential ‘election’.
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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.