Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey saved his career by climbing on board the Green New Deal bandwagon, but the environmental initiative needed him just as badly, according to its faux-grassroots backer’s CEO.
The Democratic incumbent owes his primary victory to the Sunrise Movement, a surprisingly deep-pocketed “youth movement” backed by old-school oil money such as the Rockefeller Foundation that has led the campaign for the Green New Deal environmental legislation package, according to Sunrise itself and several political observers.
“Markey was the most prominent figure on the Green New Deal aside from AOC,” Sunrise Movement executive director Varshini Prakash told the New York Times on Friday, explaining why her organization threw its weight behind getting Markey get re-elected.
If he goes down in a Democratic primary, immediately the story that gets spun out of that is ‘The Green New Deal is a losing political proposition.’
When Rep. Joe Kennedy III – political royalty, especially in the state of Massachusetts – decided to mount a primary challenge against the 74-year-old Markey, Sunrise opted to launch a rebranding campaign on Markey’s behalf, according to Prakash. “We can help make Ed Markey into this figure on the left – this lovable, quirky older guy who kind of has some of the similar characteristics of somebody like Bernie [Sanders].”
It’s a testament to the political firepower behind Sunrise that despite initially being 17 points behind his much-younger challenger and running against a Kennedy in a state where no one from that family has ever lost an election, Markey – a 74-year-old incumbent who voted for the Iraq War and the North American Free Trade Agreement, and whom no one would have mistaken for a progressive before he jumped on board the Green New Deal – sailed to victory in this week’s primary.
Sunrise Movement members created a parallel universe of worshipful young people on social media – dubbed the ‘Markeyverse’ – fetishizing his signature outfit and even his sneakers as “style icons,” and spent big dollars on a campaign ad that cast the senator as what the Times called “a working-class hero for revolutionary times,” glossing over a lifetime in politics in which he carefully avoided bucking the establishment line.
The power of the Sunrise Movement machine should not be underestimated. Jamaal Bowman, a New York school principal who scored an upset victory over long-time incumbent Rep. Eliot Engel with the group’s backing, called Sunrise the most important factor in his win. Just as the Green New Deal might have been doomed if Markey had lost, Markey most certainly would have been doomed if Sunrise hadn’t come to his aid.
Sunrise Movement hadn’t even existed for two years when it co-wrote the Green New Deal legislation with a handful of other newly minted ‘progressive’ organizations that have questionable ties to deep-pocketed foundations owned by familiar names like Soros and Rockefeller. While New York Democratic-Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – a media darling before she even took office – served as the Deal’s figurehead, having an establishment stalwart such as Markey as her partner in introducing the legislation gave the package a sense of gravitas.
But the public image of Sunrise as a youth-led group empowering children for a better future stands in sharp contrast to the controversial tactics allegedly used by the adults who really run the movement to manipulate their youthful charges, journalists who’ve investigated the group and its funding say. After infiltrating the Sunrise Movement and obtaining internal communications from its leaders, Infowars reporter Millie Weaver claims she found “organizers radicalizing middle school and high school age children, teaching them military tactics and preparation for high-risk actions.”
Millie Weaver infiltrated Sunrise Movement climate activists 2 years. Here’s highlights of some organizers Zoom Chats staring @Aoc during the riots. Call each other comradesWants to abolish the policeTake advantage of uprisingsThey organized riot, break out groups, by race pic.twitter.com/FQG0FbmTE0
Video of planning sessions appears to show children being taught “how to get arrested” to further their cause and being encouraged to destroy property because “it can be replaced.” Sunrise is affiliated with “private intelligence military contractors and foreign interests,” who, according to Weaver and investigative journalist Harry Vox, train the children in paramilitary tactics.
The Times hinted, in Friday’s op-ed looking back over Markey’s campaign, that Biden should follow in the Massachusetts senator’s footsteps, offering himself up to Sunrise in exchange for a boost from the group’s well-oiled political machine. Given the candidate’s inability to remember whether he plans to ban fracking or not, it would be quite the October Surprise if Biden underwent a ‘green’ makeover at this late stage, but stranger things have happened.
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