CNN's Rick Sanchez: Democrat Think Tank Is 'Down Now in the Middle'

April 9th, 2009 8:50 PM
Today on CNN Newsroom, anchor Rick Sanchez attacked Senator James Inhofe's (R-OK) assertion that Barack Obama is disarming America.  Joining Sanchez was Jim Arkedis of the Progressive Policy Institute.  Sanchez wanted viewers to believe the PPI is a nonpartisan think tank.  He ran a video of Inhofe denouncing Obama's proposals followed with:
SANCHEZ: Cutting and gutting the military budget.

Joining us now is Jim Arkedis.

He's the director of the National Security Project of the Progressive Policy Institute.

You guys check on these things...


SANCHEZ: make sure the figures are right. So because you're down now in the middle, I'm going to ask you the question -- is Senator James Inhofe correct to say that President Obama is "gutting the U.S. military budget?"

In fact, he goes on to say disarming America.

ARKEDIS: Obviously, the senator's words are pretty ridiculous. President Obama has proposed an increase, as the numbers you just rattled off suggested. And there's absolutely no hint any time in the future that America's military budget is going to be gutted or we're going to be incapable of fighting the wars that -- that we are in now and we will look to in the future -- or have to in the future.

SANCHEZ: And just to be clear, you're -- you're not a lefty, right?

You're not coming at this from oh, I'm a defender of Barack Obama or the Democrats' proposals here, right?

ARKEDIS: Well...

SANCHEZ: Your organization is?

ARKEDIS: We are the Progressive Policy Institute. So I'll let the -- the title speak for itself. But we are a centrist progressive organization.
The Progressive Policy Institute is clearly partisan and makes no effort to hide it.  The organization's Web site notes:
Called "Bill Clinton's idea mill," PPI's policy analysis and proposals were the source for many of the "New Democrat" innovations that figured prominently in national politics over the past two decades. The Institute also has been integral to the spread of "Third Way" thinking to center-left parties in Europe and elsewhere.
It also discloses:
PPI's mission is to define and promote a new progressive politics for America in the 21st century.
For those not paying any more attention to political discussion than Rick Sanchez, "progressive" is the term preferred by liberals who for obvious reasons don't wish to be identified as liberals.

PPI states it is "a project of the Third Way Foundation Inc."  The foundation's chairman is Al From, founder and CEO of the Democratic Leadership Council.

To his credit, Arkedis didn't deny defending Democratic proposals.  When asked about that, he began with "Well..." Sanchez cut in, not wishing to cloud his own claim that PPI is "in the middle."

It's down the middle about as much as you usually are, Rick.  In the middle of left field.