Progressives are having a hard time these days. First, Barack Obama turns his back on them. Then the Bernie Madoff con hits.
It turns out that Madoff was somewhat selective about both his clientele and his charity. He was not only a benefactor to many progressive organizations, but was entrusted with managing a lot of progressive money as well. And with his downfall, a lot of progressive groups have been grievously wounded — some even mortally. That has a lot of people on the Left infuriated. Some so mad, that they’ve tagged Madoff “Progressive Enemy #1.”
Madoff managed the money of Jeanne Levy-Church and Kenneth Levy-Church, who funded the JEHT Foundation (“Justice, Equality, Human dignity, Tolerance”). In turn, the JEHT Foundation funded an astonishing assortment of liberal/progressive causes. With Madoff having lost every penny of that money, the JEHT Foundation is gone, along with all its grants.
That list of grants is astonishing. It runs the gamut from the Advocates for Environmental Human Rights to Yale Law School’s Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic. The list is replete with organizations bearing lofty, abstract names. (It reminded me of nations that load their names up with high-minded principles and inevitably fail to live up to them – “People’s Democratic Republic” is a code used by dictators so that they can recognize each other.)
The same principle holds here: the loftier, more idealistic, and more vague the name of the group, the better the odds that it’s not really that interested in helping people, but more into advancing an agenda — often socialistic and destructive. There is the “Advocates for Environmental Human Rights” — those are just buzzwords piled together to sound good. Or “Americans for Informed Democracy” or “Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict” — who could be against THAT? “Citizens for Global Solutions” sounds good, but most problems require nuanced, not “global,” solutions. There’s “EarthRights International” — planets have rights? What is the overlap between “Human Rights First” and “Human Rights Watch?” Does the “International Center for Transitional Justice” come with an expiration date for when the transition is over?
And why wasn’t the “Center for Investigative Reporting” onto the scheme of their donor?