Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Third Way: A Shill Organization For the GOP, Lobbyists, and Bankers (But I Repeat Myself)

There are few organizations in American politics that are more contemptible, more despicable, or more nauseating than the concern-trolling snake-oil salesmen known as Third Way.

Third Way, a centrist think tank that portrays itself as a Democratic group, has some advice for the party: avoid economic populism at all costs. In a column for the Wall Street Journal today, the group argues that the party should steer clear of creating a strong safety net, and criticizes Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's call for universal pre-K funded through an upper-income tax increase as a foolhardy idea for national Democrats. 
As many have noted today, in reaction to the column, Third Way's attacks on Social Security and Medicare fail on the merits. It's bad policy, and it's equally bad politics. 
But for Third Way, a group founded in 2005 that is highly active on Capitol Hill, the think tank is merely defending the special interest groups that allow it to exist. 
Buried inside the annual report for Third Way is a revelation that the group relies on a peculiar D.C. consulting firm to raise half a million a year: Peck, Madigan, Jones & Stewart. Peck Madigan is no ordinary non-profit buckraiser. The group is in fact a corporate lobbying firm that represents Deutsche Bank, Intel, the Business Roundtable, Amgen, AT&T, the International Swaps & Derivatives Association, MasterCard, New York Life Insurance, PhRMA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among others.
The two organizations complement each other well. Peck Madigan signs as a lobbyist for the government of New Zealand on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal; Third Way aggressively promotes the deal. Peck Madigan clients push for entitlement cuts, and so does Third Way. 
A bunch of grifting scumbags.

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