Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Washington Insiders

St. Croix Review

In last week’s post on the Tea Party I mentioned a review of a recent book about Washington insiders entitled “This Town, Two Parties and a Funeral—plus plenty of valet parking!” by Mark Leibovich, a veteran Washington journalist. The review appeared in the Oct. 2013 issue of the St. Croix Review, a small but highly readable journal of opinion edited by Barry MacDonald.

I would just like to quote a few examples from MacDonald’s review that illustrate how Washington insiders, whether Republican and Democrat, often work together to achieve their own self-interested goals. In his summary MacDonald wrote,
Americans on the left should see that the many programs designed to uplift the poor have worked precisely as designed: the redistributors of money are uplifted, the poor remain poor.
Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Democrat fundraiser recently won a narrow Senatorial election from Virginia with the help of his Clinton patrons. McAuliffe had been a major fundraiser for the Clinton administration who later became chairman of the Democrat party. Many have probably seen him debating on TV with Ed Gillespie, the former head of the Republican party. In Macdonald’s review of the Leibovich book  we learn,

Ed and Terry are “outstanding friends.” They “forged a green room marriage” ( the green room is the place where people wait before appearing on a political talk show). Ed and Terry would tangle on air, each slinging their respective talking points as chairman of the opposing parties.
After leaving their positions they became partners on the paid speaker’s circuit: “top dog” Democrat and Republican putting on a show ($50000 a pop) disagreeing without being disagreeable.
Ed Gillespie and Democrat Jack Quinn are also “dear” friends and former business partners.
They formed a partnership: Quinn Gillespie and Associates, believed to be one of the first bipartisan “one-stop-shopping firms” lobbying successful members of both parties.
According to MacDonald, “50 percent of Senators and 42 percent of Congressmen become lobbyists. Also, “tens of thousands” of congressional staff move into lobbying jobs.

Here are some other examples:

John Breaux, a former Democrat Congressman and Senator, remarked that his vote could not be bought but “could be rented.” …After leaving the Senate John started his own lobbying firm just down the road from the White House.
Democrat Senator Byron Dorgan was “quick to get all contemptuously righteous about people on the Hill cashing in their public service.” After retiring he joined Arent Fox. Former Senators aren’t allowed to lobby for two years, so Byron doesn’t, but he “oversees a staff of lobbyists.”
The top prize for hypocrisy might go to Dick Gephardt, a former Democrat Speaker of the House, who prided himself for being a champion of organized labor.

Upon retirement Dick joined the Washington office of DLA Piper, and then started his own lobbying outfit, Gephardt Government Affairs. His corporate clients included Goldman Sachs, Boeing Company, Visa Inc., and Spirit AeroSystems, where he directed a “tough anti-union campaign.”
While a Congressman, Dick supported a House resolution condemning the Armenian genocide of 1915. While a lobbyist working for the Turkish government (being paid $70000 a month) he opposed the resolution condemning the Armenian genocide…
In conclusion, I would just like to mention Representative James Himes from Connecticut. Himes is a relatively new arrival on the political scene but he easily won re-election from Connecticut’s wealthy Fourth Congressional district. Just the other day a recent newspaper article indicated that he spends his spare time heading up the powerful Democrat Congressional Fundraising operation. In other words, he is in charge of getting Democrat Congressmen and women to cough up funds from their own war chests to support the re-election efforts of their fellow Democrats. Who is Himes really working for? He is supposed to represent his constituents. Why is he spending his time working for the re-election of people in Nevada or Louisiana?

Our Constitution begins with the phrase, “We the People.” Maybe it should be changed to “We the Pigeons.”


No comments:

Post a Comment