Illuminating the Shadow Party
The Shadow Party -- the network of big money, political operatives, unions and left-wing grass-roots organizations that now essentially controls the Democratic Party -- was not discovered or named by David Horowitz and Richard Poe. But in their new book, coming out Aug. 8, Horowitz and Poe set out to expose what their publisher says are "the influential and powerful Americans secretly stirring up disunion and disloyalty in the shifting shadows of the Democratic Party." Horowitz is a columnist, author and president of the David Horowitz Freedom Center ( horowitzfreedomcenter.org ) in Los Angeles.
Q: What is the Shadow Party?
Horowitz: The Shadow Party is a George Soros conglomerate. George Soros, a billionaire, has engineered campaign finance reform by pouring tens of millions of dollars -- and getting others to do it too -- into the campaign finance reform movement. What this did was it limited the ability of the political parties to raise money. As soon as the campaign finance laws came into place, they had a loophole -- and naturally they would because Soros was behind this -- for private organizations like MoveOn.org , called 527s, that could collect money.
Soros managed to put together a coalition, which we call the Shadow Party, which accounted for about $300 million in the 2004 Democratic campaign. Actually, it was much more than that. He put together a group that orchestrated media ads, so that meant that his groups, since they were in place before the Democratic nominee was even chosen, were able to shape the message of the John Kerry campaign and, in effect, control the campaign that way.
But through another organization they have, Americans Coming Together, they also put together the ground war. ACT was composed of big government unions, like SEIU and teacher unions. They were able to produce 100,000 campaign workers and huge amounts of money to knock on doors and get out the vote. Because Soros and the group he put together control both the ground war and the air war of Democratic campaigns, that means that every elected Democratic official has got to pay attention to what they say.
Q: What does your book deal with that is new?
Horowitz: First of all, it goes inside George Soros. You have to understand who this man is, because he can be portrayed in many ways -- philanthropist, capitalist. In fact, he says that the capitalist system has replaced communism as the greatest threat. Second, he says America is the greatest obstacle to world justice and stability. His agenda is what he calls "to burst the bubble of American supremacy." In other words, he's a lefty. We've also described the radical components of the Soros operation.
Q: It's safe to say that the Shadow Party couldn't exist without George Soros?
Horowitz: Yes, Soros put it together. He has bought together elements of the philanthropy world, the political world, the business world, the union world and the world of radical street politics and created a juggernaut. It is the Democratic Party, in a way. No Democrat can certainly be elected without it. He's made an alliance of course with Hillary Clinton and the Clinton team, which is the organization called the Center for American Progress, which is run by Clinton's former chief of staff, John Podesta, and there is a whole constellation of organizations around that solidifies his power. So there really is no other center of power that is significant in the Democratic Party anymore.
It's odd that the book "The Shadow Party" is coming out the same day of the Connecticut primary. The mere fact that Joe Lieberman, who is a three-term senator, an incumbent, and who was on the presidential ticket of the Democratic Party in 2000, should be fighting for his political life against these forces shows how powerful the people in the Shadow Party are.
Q: What has been the Shadow Party's biggest exploit so far?
Horowitz: They lost the election, that's true, in 2004. But they ran it. John Kerry was an appendage of what they did.
Q: What is the Shadow Party ultimately trying to do?
Horowitz: Soros said his number one goal is to unseat Bush.” It's social justice, is the way you describe it. What they want is a form of socialism. They don't articulate it as such, but if you read their statements and as we show in the book, their agenda really is socialist. It is to convert the war on terror into a criminal operation. It is to withdraw from Iraq, which would let Iraq fall to the terrorists. It is to make America part of the World Court, to institute world government. Soros is technically an American but he is very hostile towards the United States.
Q: There are rightwing Republicans who try to influence elections and get bills passed, etc. What makes this more sinister than what the Republicans or right-wingers do?
Horowitz: Well, first of all, it is much more organized. There are obvious constituencies in the Republican coalition, who have different agendas, but in the end they compromise and they are part of the national party. Here, you have part of a party that is not really visible. Very few Americans, very few Democratic voters, know this even exists. It's working behind the scenes and its agendas are quite radical in a way that I don't think any of the Republican constituencies are. Most Republican constituencies known to me, in the end, they compromise and they vote.
Q: Is the Shadow Party getting stronger or weaker as we approach 2008?
Horowitz: In my view, it's much stronger. This Lieberman thing even shocked me. Think of it from a political point of view. You're an old style pol, OK• You understand that national political battles are won and lost in the center. Everybody understands that. So here you have a guy, Joe Lieberman – the one Democrat who is a really prominent supporter of the war. So he makes your party look like a big tent. About 80 percent of Democrats are against the war. But there are 20 percent who are for the war.
You want Lieberman in your party. He can't affect your majority. He's not going to change your vote. But these people are such zealots -- they are religious in their passion -- that they want to get rid of him. And they are going out to get rid of a statesman of their party.
It makes no sense in terms of ordinary American politics. It makes a lot of sense in terms of SP politics. These are people on a mission. They are not thinking straight on this issue. Soros himself is a cleverer person. I don't want to give the idea that Soros makes every decision. It's not that kind of party. He's put together a coalition of forces. He does manage a lot of the money. But what he has done that is unique, in my view, in the history of American politics, is that he has put together a coalition of billionaires, of giant unions, of street radicals, and of seasoned political operatives. It's a never-before-seen combination in American politics
Box of books
Israeli Unilateralism: Beyond Gaza by Robert Zelnick (Hoover Institution Press)
Just in time for the crisis in Lebanon comes former ABC newsman Zelnick's account of how and why Israel chose in 2005 to snap the fruitless and increasingly unacceptable status quo in its conflict with the Palestinians and unilaterally withdraw from Gaza and the West Bank. This policy of "unilateral separation" has a political and defense component, says Zelnick, and represents the majority thinking among Israelis that a bilateral solution to the intractable Palestinian problem is no longer possible.
Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different by Gordon S. Wood (Penguin)
Wood's sketches of Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, Hamilton, Madison, Burr and Paine in "Revolutionary Characters" focus on their integrity and eccentricity and are a refreshing look at seven great men whose legacies live on, says The Weekly Standard.
What Would the Founders Do• by Richard Brookhiser (Perseus Books Group)
Brookhiser's attempt to divine what Washington, Jefferson and their Fellow Founders would think about stem cell research, Social Security, the war on drugs and other hot issues of 2006 is a contrivance, but reviewer Michael Lind says it is done with "a rare union of wit and scholarship."
American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation by John Meacham (Random House)
Meacham's effort in "American Gospel" to show how the Founders balanced faith and reason in their struggle to keep church and state separate was generally praised as fair, accurate and useful, though The New York Times reviewer felt Meacham mischaracterized the Founders as centrists and compromisers when they were in fact radical intellectuals of the Enlightenment who were very worried about what Washington called "the horrors of spiritual tyranny."
It is unfortunately none too well understood that, just as the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. All the power it has is what society gives it, plus what it confiscates from time to time on one pretext or another; there is no other source from which State power can be drawn. Therefore every assumption of State power, whether by gift or seizure, leaves society with so much less power. There is never, nor can there be, any strengthening of State power without a corresponding and roughly equivalent depletion of social power.
"Our Enemy the State" by A.J. Nock (1935)