Matt Taibbi's (previously) latest Rolling Stone column traces the long history of rich Democrat donors and the officials whom they fund attacking progressive candidates, showing how the same playbook used to attack Dennis Kucinich in 2003 is now being rolled out to attack Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren (I am a donor to both the Sanders and Warren campaigns).
The wealthy and their captured lawmakers smear anyone who offers a progressive alternative as a "spoiler" who will "undermine" the party's chances to beat Republicans; this becomes a critique of the politicians, who are characterized as "narcissists" whose presidential bids are a matter of ego, not policy. This also conveniently switches the discussion away from the policies themselves, refocusing it on personalities, which are then smeared again.
As Adam Johnson writes in FAIR, the press amplifies this tactic by calling the 1% and their enablers "mainstream Democrats" — despite the fact that polls show 78% of Democrats holding a favorable view of Sanders, who also leads every poll on 2020 nominees, and whose polls also show that Sanders can beat Trump.
The insistence that a handful of millionaires and some Congressional lifers who've enriched them are the "mainstream" of the party only makes sense if you take the voters for granted, assuming that they'll vote for whomever the Democrats put on the ballot.
But voters care about substance, which is why I'm so bullish on Elizabeth Warren: as Doug Henwood writes in Jacobin, Warren has the policy details that we've been waiting for. Specific, excellent proposals, on gouging pharma companies, a Piketty-style wealth-tax, breaking up Big Tech monopolists, Right to Repair, and holding execs criminally liable for scams and breaches. Warren's not perfect, but she's a damned sight better than any of the corporatist tools embraced by the party establishment.
(via Naked Capitalism)