Occasionally, even George Soros steps out of the shadows. He did so in 2004 when he spent at least $32 million trying to prevent George W. Bush’s reelection. Now he’s come off the sidelines and is throwing his millions at Democratic grassroots groups to bail President Obama out of a jam.

Soros, the moneybags of the left, has spent $38 million in the last several years funding politicians and the left’s political machine. He also gave $550 million to liberal causes in 2000 through 2009 – covering a wide range of issues from abortion to gay rights to immigration. It's safe to say that pretty much anything conservatives support has an opposition group or several funded by Soros.

While he had made noises about not getting involved this election, no one really believed him. According to the May 8, New York Times, “Soros will contribute $1 million each to America Votes, a group that coordinates political activity for left-leaning environmental, abortion rights and civil rights groups, and American Bridge 21st Century, a super PAC that focuses on election-oriented research.”

This isn’t much of a shock.

Though Soros is disappointed in Obama, there’s no politician he likes better than our commander in chief.

The Democratic president has received more money from Soros and his kin than any other political candidate in the last 11 years – $16,000 and counting. They also gave an additional $250,000 to the inauguration fund, with five members of the family each giving the maximum contribution of $50,000.

Given the financial limits on donations, that’s an impressive amount of support.

Obama leads a list of the most doctrinaire liberals running for office – all funded by Soros and his family. Those include former comic-turned Sen. Al Franken, lefty Calif. Sen. Barbara Boxer and new “progressive” darling and Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren.

Admitting Soros is an election power broker, of course, messes with the liberal ballot propaganda.

The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel delivered one recent rant complaining about the power of “the Koch brothers, Citizens United, and a right-wing activist Supreme Court ready to roll back decades of New Deal jurisprudence.”

That’s only one of an endless stream of such lunacy.

The Kochs aren’t an election problem, no matter how much the left tries to demonize them. If anyone’s money is impacting American politics, it’s George Soros’s.

Forget the $38 million that is directly going into politics. That other $550 million is heading the same place, just with a tiny bit more subtlety.

Soros’s Open Society Foundations have a lengthy list of groups they support with his cash and it reads like a Who’s Who of liberal groups that bash conservatives and promote libs. There’s the Center for American Progress, Economic Policy Institute, National Council of La Raza and more.

Ironically, Soros has claimed he tried to stay out of domestic political turmoil, but his political donations show otherwise.

Soros said as much in his opening essay to Chuck Sudetic’s book “The Philanthropy of George Soros.” Soros wrote, he learned, “to keep a greater distance from the internal politics of the countries where I have foundations.” Normal people would stay they’d stay out. Soros just wanted to give the appearance of distance.

This latest $2 million is a reminder he hasn’t stayed out of U.S. politics at all.

Through an extensive network of non-profits, media properties and activist organizations, Soros has become increasingly influential in American elections. His hold over the American political left is especially strong.

He and his family gave more than $38 million to politicians and political groups through the past two decades.

Soros’s 2004 attempt to oust President Bush enlisted such lefty staples as MoveOn.org, Joint Victory Campaign 2004, and America Coming Together.

To put all that in perspective, he vastly outspent the libertarian Koch Brothers in individual political donations 8 to 1. Promoting left-wing ideology to include everything from electing judges to immigration reform, Soros has exerted his power over the nation’s liberal political elite.

The Kochs have been labeled as everything from “Tea Party puppeteers” by New York Times columnists Charles M. Blow to industrialists that “help keep the Tea Party movement well-caffeinated,” and vilified for their extensive giving to conservatives.

But Soros has fondly been described as a "philanthropist." The media fail to note that Soros has outspent the Kochs in individual-funded political activity.

An analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics’s Oopensecrets.org compared contributions by the Koch brothers and George Soros. This review from Sept. 21, 2010, showed “Soros rules this category” by an 8-to-1 margin – $34 million to $4 million.

And, in case you doubt the numbers, Opensecrets.org received $500,000 in grants from the Open Society Foundation since 2000.

Soros has shown he wants to push his own agenda on America and he’s about to do so in another election. And it's important to remember this fact: the last time he got this involved, he spent $32 million not $2 million trying to help Democrats win.

-- Iris Somberg contributed to this column.

Dan Gainor is the Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center’s Vice President for Business and Culture. His column appears each week on The Fox Forum. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.