TEL AVIV – Progressive groups that participated in a conference call with President Obama to coordinate support for the Iran nuclear deal are now leading campaigns against U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer’s Democratic leadership bid in the Senate.
Last week Schumer, who is eyeing the Senate Minority Leader position, declared that he will vote to oppose the international agreement with Iran, posing a significant blow to Obama’s diplomatic efforts to garner support within his party for the deal.
In response, major progressive groups have mobilized to oppose Schumer.
MoveOn.org announced a “donor strike in response to Schumer’s Iran position.”
The George Soros-funded radical group threatened it will “organize grassroots progressives across the country to withhold campaign contributions from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and from any Democratic candidate who succeeds in undermining the president’s diplomacy with Iran.”
“Our goal will be to secure commitments to withhold $10 million in contributions within 72 hours after this campaign launches,” stated the group, singling out Schumer.
The political action committee of Credo Mobile is also leading anti-Schumer activism, calling him “wrong on Iraq, wrong on Iran, wrong for Senate Democratic leadership.”
White House Spokesman Josh Earnest seemed to have expressed some approval of the Schumer campaign when he said last week he “would not be surprised” if Democrats consider Schumer’s stance on Iran when they vote for the next minority leader.
Last month, Obama led a conference call with progressive groups across the nation, including Credo and MoveOn.org.
“You guys have to get more active and loud and involved and informed,” Obama told participants in the call arranged by the White House.
White House spokesman Earnest told reporters that “thousands of people representing a large number of groups” were invited to be in on the call, including “groups that have previously worked with the White House or would be inclined to work with the White House on this issue.”
Three weeks earlier, White House officials held a private strategy conference call with progressive organizations to discuss ways of convincing lawmakers to support a deal, with MoveOn.org and CREDO also participating.That call was coordinated by the anti-nuclear weapons advocacy group Ploughshares Fund.
Noticing the trend of progressive groups attacking Schumer, Jonathan Tobin, editor of Commentary Magazine, surmised “the point of the effort … isn’t so much about winning a battle Obama probably already has in his pocket as it is the first shot fired in Obama’s post-deal ratification struggle to undermine the U.S.-Israel alliance.”
Added Tobin: “The White House isn’t content to merely whip Democrats on the issue in an effort to obtain the one-third-plus-one votes they need to sustain a veto of a resolution of disapproval for the Iran deal.
“Instead, they are sending a rather pointed message to the pro-Israel community that no one, not even a good Democratic soldier and future leader like Schumer, can get away with crossing the president when it comes to his plans for détente with Iran.”
Jerusalem Post columnist and deputy managing editor Caroline Glick opined that by “singling out and demonizing Jewish American opponents of the deal” such as Schumer, Obama is “setting the conditions for treating them as disloyal citizens can expected to be treated.”
“In other words, at best, Jewish opponents can expect to find themselves treated like other Obama opponents – such as Tea Party groups that were hounded and harassed by the IRS and other governmental organs,” wrote Glick.
Soros, White House ties
Credo Mobile was founded by longtime Democratic Party activist Michael Kieschnick.
Kieschnick is one of three co-founders of the Soros-funded Secretary of State Project, which seeks to get Democrats elected to office and has worked alongside the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.
Kieschnick was recently invited to visit the White House, where he says he briefed President Obama on Credo Mobile’s activism.
“I told him what we had done to fight George Bush – he was impressed – but that we were ready to fight even harder to make positive change in the days and months to come,” wrote Kieschnick of his meeting with Obama.
Kieschnick occasionally writes for the Huffington Post and The Beatitudes Society. The Beatitudes Society is a project of the Soros-funded Tides Center.
Tides is one of the largest funders of U.S. progressive groups, including a large number of Soros’ funded projects, such as MoveOn.org. Tides is also closely linked to the Occupy movement.
Tides founder Drummond Pike also co-founded Credo Action, the activist wing of Credo Mobile.
Soros funds scores of other groups that are backed by Credo Mobile, including Human Rights Watch, which, in 2010 received the largest single gift ever donated by Soros, a $100-million-dollar donation.
Kieschnick is a member of the board of directors of Sojourners Magazine, whose founder and CEO, Jim Wallis, is one of Obama’s faith advisers. Sojourners is a left-leaning evangelical group that presses for so-called social and racial justice.
Other Sojourners writers and directors sit on Obama’s faith council, including Chicago Muslim Eboo Patel and Lynne Hybels, a leader of the innovative megachurch Willow Creek in suburban Chicago, which is pastored by her husband, Bill Hybels.