Progressive, leftist groups are forming a broad lobbying coalition and there are millions, if not billions, of dollars involved. They’re not being shy about it either. Lefty rags like Mother Jones are practically bosting about it:
It was the kind of meeting that conspiratorial conservative bloggers dream about.
A month after President Barack Obama won reelection, top brass from three dozen of the most powerful groups in liberal politics met at the headquarters of the National Education Association (NEA), a few blocks north of the White House. Brought together by the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Communication Workers of America (CWA), and the NAACP, the meeting was invite-only and off-the-record. Despite all the Democratic wins in November, a sense of outrage filled the room as labor officials, environmentalists, civil rights activists, immigration reformers, and a panoply of other progressive leaders discussed the challenges facing the left and what to do to beat back the deep-pocketed conservative movement.
At the end of the day, many of the attendees closed with a pledge of money and staff resources to build a national, coordinated campaign around three goals: getting big money out of politics, expanding the voting rolls while fighting voter ID laws, and rewriting Senate rules to curb the use of the filibuster to block legislation. The groups in attendance pledged a total of millions of dollars and dozens of organizers to form a united front on these issues—potentially, a coalition of a kind rarely seen in liberal politics, where squabbling is common and a stay-in-your-lane attitude often prevails.
There are some big players represented here, and some familiar faces at the table.
- Center for American Progress
- Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
- Color of Change
- Common Cause
- Friends of the Earth
- League of Conservation Voters
- Mother Jones
- National People’s Action
- National Wildlife Federation
- People for the American Way
- Piper Fund, Public Campaign
- Sierra Club
- United Auto Workers
- Voto Latino
The Washington Free Beacon points out the obvious lack of mainstream media coverage.
Let’s pretend that in the spring of 2012 Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, John Engler of the Business Roundtable, Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity, and Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association began to organize an assembly of right-leaning groups.
Let’s pretend that in the months since there had been not one but two meetings where these luminaries joined with representatives of Christians United For Israel, the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Tea Party Express, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, and the American Petroleum Institute to discuss strategy and promote a series of “structural reforms” that would make it easier for them to advance conservative goals in Congress.
Let’s pretend that by the time of the second meeting, which was held within sight of the White House, the coalition had grown to encompass some 36 different interest groups pledging millions of dollars.
How much press coverage would be devoted to this fictive cabal?
This is what conservatives will face in the coming months and years: a united leftist front across all avenues. Their goals are stated plainly enough: to “beat back” everything conservatives stand for.