Ted Leonsis owns a sports-entertainment conglomerate that includes three major-league sports teams, a major venue in Washington DC, as well as a number of Internet ventures. He’s vice-chairman emeritus of AOL’s board, which last year purchased Huffington Post. He’s also a big, big donor to the Democratic Party and its candidates, including Barack Obama, for whom Leonsis has already maxed out his contributions in this cycle and did the same in 2008.
That was in June, however, before Obama decided to shift to the Left and start indulging in class-warfare, soak-the-rich rhetoric in order to bolster his sagging ratings and change the dynamic of the 2012 race. Leonsis rips Obama for demonizing the successful in a lengthy rant at his website:
I say this as I read all of the rhetoric about Class Warfare, the rift that is being created between economic middle and lower class and as the President said “those millionaires and billionaires.”
The real rift in philosophy though is do you want the Government to create jobs and stimulate the economy or do you want America’s small business to be the engine of growth?
Economic Success has somehow become the new boogie man; some in the Democratic party are now casting about for enemies and business leaders and anyone who has achieved success in terms of rank or fiscal success is being cast as a bad guy in a black hat. This is counter to the American Dream and is really turning off so many people that love American and basically carry our country on their back by paying taxes and by employing people and creating GDP.
This is a bad move all designed by some pollster who said this is the way to get votes during the re-election. It should be stopped. We should be healing and creating teams NOT dividing and pitting people against one another.
Well, congratulations to Leonsis for finally discovering the “real rift in philosophy” between central planners and free-market advocates. The next question will be, “Why do you keep donating money to the central planners?” Take a look at the candidates supported by the Leonsis household over the last three cycles, and you’ll see class-warfare stalwarts like Al Franken, Niki Tsongas, Jim Moran, and John Sarbanes along with Barack Obama, to the full legal maximums. That’s why Leonsis gets a Captain Louis Renault award for this complaint in particular:
I voted for our President. I have maxed out on personal donations to his re-election campaign. I forgot his campaign wants to raise $1 billion. THAT is a lot of money–money–money–money! Money still talks. It blows my mind when I am asked for money as a donation at the same time I am getting blasted as being a bad guy!
Hopefully, this is a Road to Damascus moment for Leonsis and some of his colleagues, but the class-warfare rhetoric has been employed by Obama ever since he co-opted John Edwards’ campaign strategy in 2007 to campaign from Hillary Clinton’s left. Leonsis could have discovered that he and his fellow entrepreneurs (I’d recommend reading Leonsis’ biography at the site to get a sense of his accomplishments in that area) were being demonized all along by the very people whose campaigns he funded. They’re probably shocked, shocked that it took Leonsis this long to be shocked, shocked that Democrats are fundamentally hostile to the free-market principles that allowed him to create his fortune in the first place.