Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders Still sighs from a political machine working against him.
Clinton may not be running for president, but the world of staff and institutions buoyed up presidential run, Sanders says, has a new goal: to quash his progressive vision for America.
Over the weekend, Sanders sent the Center of American Progress – a powerful Democratic think tank that's closely aligned with the Clintons – a scathing letter, hitting several negative articles and videos published by the group's media arm, ThinkProgress, that he says will Make it easier for President Trump to win in 2020.
"Sanders wrote in the letter, first obtained by the New York Times. "Meanwhile, the Center for American Progress is using its resources to smear Senator [Cory] Booker, Senator [Elizabeth] Warren, and myself, among others.
Clinton's world, like David Brock, who founded Media Matters for America, are already talking about launching an anti-virus Sanders Campaign
Sanders's campaign sent out fundraising emails on both the letter and CAP's anti-Sanders movement.
That's it's animosity between Clinton's orbit and Sanders's is old news. But these latest punches show how the dynamics in the party have shifted. CAP, Brock, and the Clinton world have held power over the establishment of a generation; they've filled key staffing roles, crafted agendas, and chosen leaders. Sanders has been largely on the outside. Now he's the Democratic frontrunner for president in a primary.
Sanders's relationship The Democratic Party has changed dramatically since 2016. The Democratic Party changed its rules in direct response to Sanders' concerns, limiting the power of "superdelegates" – in the 2020 primary voting on the first ballot in a contested national convention. Sanders has the 2020 primary's biggest fundraising list, the most money in the bank of any Democratic candidate in the field, and a lead in the polls among published candidates.
But success carries its own challenges. In 2016, Sanders ran as an insurgent against a hidebound Democratic Party. That's the most political style. As he makes for leadership of that party, he needs a new foil, one with enough power to energize his supporters, but not so much popularity that it alienates voters.
CAP, silent run by Clinton allies, is a perfect proxy, and Sanders's campaign manager Shakir has announced a 48-hour fundraising drive to "the potential anti-Sanders campaign."
"Here comes the kitchen sink. According to the New York Times, the financial establishment of this country is gathering at canapé-filled fund-raisers, plotting to stop us, Shakir said in a campaign fundraising email. "David Brock, who led a multi-million dollar smear campaign against us in 2016, is looking to lead the effort and hopes on anti-Sanders campaign '' start sooner rather than later. '"
Another email to supporters said "CAP's leadership has been pretty upfront about their disdain for Bernie – and all of us" and that the organization's "real goal" is to "stop Medicare for all and our progressive agenda."
Sanders's rallying cry is that together, the American people wants to take on pharmaceutical companies, big banks, political party bosses, and despotic world leaders. But for Sanders, the "them" in his "us against them" rhetoric used to be a lot bigger than it is today. He's less of an outsider in the hall of congress than he was even three years ago. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, with whom he co-sponsored a bill in opposition to Republicans' tax reform package.
The Democratic National Committee, which Sanders hit relentlessly for propping up Clinton in the 2016 election, is now in regular communication with his campaign.
So for Sanders, the "them" is now institutions like CAP. The "them" is the Clinton's allies that serve as a proxy for Sanders's assault on the corporate wing of the Democratic Party, and who are with them.