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Tilting at Windmills

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January 14, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

MORE ON BOEHNER....Here's a few paragraphs about John Boehner from an LA Times story about Republicans and the lobbying community:

As House Republican Conference chairman from 1995 to 1998, Boehner played a key role in the party's effort to systematically build stronger ties to businesses and lobbyists. It was an effort that included DeLay's vaunted "K Street Project" to encourage lobbying firms to hire Republicans.

Beginning soon after the GOP took control of Congress in 1995, Boehner held weekly meetings with about a dozen of the most powerful lobbyists in the speaker's suite in the Capitol.

He was heavily criticized in 1996 for distributing campaign checks from tobacco interests to colleagues on the House floor. It was not against the rules, but was said to be unseemly.

Yep, he's a real reformer. And the really pathetic part of all this is that, relatively speaking, Boehner is the good guy in the race for Republican Majority leader. The favorite, Roy Blunt, is so close to the lobbying community that they'll probably erect a statue of him in Farragut Square someday one hand on a lobbyist's shoulder and the other holding a check, no doubt.

The K Street Project isn't a fall from grace, it's part of the DNA of the modern Republican Party. It's a joke to pretend that they can repudiate it without tearing down the entire party itself first.

Kevin Drum 1:06 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (34)

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Comments

Ahh, Kevin, classic hypocrite.

When Democrats court lobbyists, good. But when Republicans do it, bad.

What the liberals and the MSM have done to Delay, Abramoff and others is wrong. What they've done is no different that what has gone on in politics for eons. That's what politics is, isn't it? You scratch my back, I scratch yours?

Posted by: egbert on January 14, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

There's a new candidate in the race, John Shadegg. You can add your name to this list supporting him.

-- Katrina Coverage

Posted by: TLB on January 14, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

That's what politics is, isn't it? You scratch my back, I scratch yours?

You forgot the adjective "corrupt" in front of "politics".

Posted by: mondo dentro on January 14, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

egbert, the Democrats never had anything resembling the K street project. The Democratic corruption of the 70s and 80s was kid stuff by comparision, like raiding the stamp fund.

There were Democrats who took unsolicited bribes (Abscam scandal, etc). But DeLay did exactly the reverse with the K street project: they demanded that the lobbyists fire Democrats on their staff, and hire designated Republicans, and they demanded political contributions before they'd meet. It was a shakedown.

Posted by: Joe Buck on January 14, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK


EGBERT: You scratch my back, I scratch yours?

Trouble is, when I scratch your back I get green and yellow pus under my nails, which quickly spreads to my heart and rots it. Worse, when you scratch my back the poison from your soul seeps into mine and gives me your diseases of selfishness and greed. They are both fatal. If not to me, to anyone who's not willing or able to scratch my back. Of course, once afflicted, I won't care.


Posted by: jayarbee on January 14, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

All we have to do is yell, "Democrats are corrupt," like "We've killed the #2 aQ person" and "Iraq / 9-11!", over and over. Corrections aren't heard, and the Americans will continue to turn against you barbaric baby-killers!

Posted by: Al on January 14, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Boehner ... someone tell me that's not pronouced "Boner".

Posted by: cleek on January 14, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry to change the subject but I'm rather pissed off with our host...

Kevin called yesterday's announcement that a CIA air strike on a building in a Pakistani village may have killed Zawahiri, "a ray of sunshine in an otherwise dreary news week," thus proving how moderate and masculine and objective he is to all his conservative admirers, liberal hawks, etc.

However, having been mostly awake for the last 5 years or so, I wondered how long it would take before we found out how many innocents died in our most recent indiscriminate, incompetent, long-range bombing of a residential area (we bombed a "village," Kevin).

I think that most civilized people will agree that when any entity targets innocents and then blows them up, that this is undoubtedly an act of terrorism.

But how about when any entity ostensibly targets an international criminal, but ends up blowing up innocents?

Does the fact that this entity didn't actually target the innocents absolve it from the charge of terrorism? On the other hand, does the fact that said entity must have known that innocents were bound to be blown up since the strike was against a residential area make it a terrorist entity?

And does it make any difference whether the target was also blown up or not? If he did blow up, along with the unavoidable blowing up of innocent residents, is the act justified and just -- "a ray of sunshine" -- and therefore not an act of terrorism? But if only the innocents were blown up, does this make the entity merely incompetent, or a perpetrator of terrorism?

Does the fact that I'm asking these questions make me unpatriotic, soft on terrorism, cowardly, a liberal, or is it an indication of possessing a moral compass?

Just asking...

Posted by: Aris on January 14, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Do all these trolls live in the same basement? Where's a good bunker buster when you need one.
Time for some Shock and Fuck Off.

Posted by: Kenji on January 14, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

" ...the Democrats never had anything resembling the K street project. The Democratic corruption of the 70s and 80s was kid stuff by comparision.."

This just concedes what the public already knows: everybody - Republican and Democrat - does it. If the Democrats wanted to make real hay out of the K Street Project, they'd put forward a spokeman who has consistently declined lobbyist/interest group money and who refuses to spread pork and favors to donors, friends, and family. They won't because they can't; instead we're treated to the moralizing of Pelosi and Reid.
Screw 'em all.

Posted by: scouser on January 14, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

I'm pretty sure the congressman is using non-standard pronunciation for such a nice old german name. If you can find one, have a friendly Schwarzenegger impersonator pronounce it for you.

Posted by: fe on January 14, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

The New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg wrote something interesting in the 1/16 issue, calling the K Street Project "strictly Sheriff of Nottingham," when comparing it to past corrupt political machines. Our political economy has become a feudal provincialism with fealty to the corporate rich. Unfortunately, at least almost half of US constituents will continue to support the Republican leadership, because of selfish interests, MSM propaganda, or misplaced nationalism, so I do not think the Abramoff scandal will affect present corporate lobbying in any way.

Posted by: Powerpuff on January 14, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Do all these trolls live in the same basement?

No, they all attend the same home schooling program of Priest Rod Parsley.

Posted by: Powerpuff on January 14, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Where was the outrage from you guys when Dems did the same thing? Now suddenly, after just a hint of Republican involvement, Corruption has become the outrage of the month for the professional Bush haters.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 14, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

cleek,

"oeh" or "h" should be sort of like the "oo" in cool with pursed lips but Boehner pronounces "ay" for what is probably a cultural reason.

Posted by: fe on January 14, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

George Will is even on the Rethug's about this mess. When he ain't appologizing for them, they are in deep shit. The most support he could muster was, toward the end of his column, the point that Boehner has never offered an "earmark" to an appropriations bill.

Faint praise, that.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 14, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

How will we defeat the terrorists unless lobbyists only give money to Republicans?

And in this time of war, how will Tom Delay have the strength to fight them unless he gets plenty of rest at four-star Caribbean resorts and world-class golf getaways.

These are the wartime sacrifices the president and his party ask of you, that you overlook graft and corruption, waste and largesse so that fat men with cigars and hookers are well-rested and comfortably wealthy enough to figure out how to defeat our enemies.

Posted by: trex on January 14, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism,
since it is the merger of state and corporate power."
- Benito Mussolini

Posted by: no-thing on January 14, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Excellent fake tbrosz!

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 14, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah tbrosz, there was a huge knee jerk impulse for blogging democrats to defend congressmen taking bribes in the 1980's. I remember it clearly now. I remember making comments about how the Republicans were only using mock outrage, and asking where were was their outrage during Teapot Dome. I labled them all professional Tip O'Neil haters.

Posted by: B on January 14, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

What the liberals and the MSM have done to Delay, Abramoff and others is wrong.

Hey egghead, Delay and Abramoff did it to themselves. Or is Bush's DOJ now "liberal"? LOL

Posted by: haha on January 14, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin called yesterday's announcement that a CIA air strike on a building in a Pakistani village

there's a thread for that topic just below...

Posted by: cleek on January 14, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Crap! Did I fall for the fake tbrosz again? I was figuring that Tom was off his meds, or in some sort of defensive / depressed state because of Bush's poll numbers. I'll keep my eye out for the slightly more rational comments of old.

Posted by: B on January 14, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Where was the outrage from you guys when Dems did the same thing?

check my blog's archives. it's right there above my review of that hot new Frankie Goes To Hollywood record. Relax!

Posted by: cleek on January 14, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

How is the Karl Rove indictment going?

It appears that all of you liberals suffer from ADD. If you can focus on just one target may be you can achieve something tangible. Harping on a new scanadal of the moment everyday tends to diffuse your efforts and transforms them into futile rants of powerless human beings.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 14, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

It's a banquet of malfeasance your side is serving up there, nut-job.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 14, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

How is the Karl Rove indictment going?

why don't you go ask the person in charge of that?

If you can focus on just one target may be you can achieve something tangible.

how's the hunt for OBL going ?

Posted by: cleek on January 14, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Harping on a new scanadal of the moment everyday tends to diffuse your efforts and transforms them into futile rants of powerless human beings.

Oh, you mean it's like every Rush Limbaugh show ever: Whitewater, FBI files, Travelgate, Buddhist temple scandal, coffee with a Chinese guy, gays in the military, Vince Foster, et al.

Got it.

Except our complaints revolve around scandals where billions of dollars are involved or thousands are spied on or tens of thousands have been killed.

Thanks for clearing that up.

I'm sure you'd prefer we just ignore 90% of Republican scandals -- there are a ton of them to be sure -- but as citizens we have certain responsibilities, not the least of which is making sure that the government safeguards the public trust.

And right now the Karl Rove case is in the capable hands of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. In fact, I hear he empaneled a new grand jury for it a while back.

Posted by: trex on January 14, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

From Fired Up! Missouri:

Rep. John Shadegg entered the race for House majority leader early Friday, ending days of speculation about the conservative Arizonan's potential to disrupt the tight contest between acting leader Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 14, 2006 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Come to think of it c-nut, you spend a lot of time here diffusing your efforts by defending all those scandals from our criticism.

Maybe you should pick just one and stick with it, reserving commentary for that issue only.

How about overcrowding in our National Parks? Whenever that one comes up, just comment away.

Posted by: trex on January 14, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

trex gets a gold star for excellence in the thought process.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 14, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

This is how all once proud nations are brought down.

Every time laws are put in place to protect the system of democracy, corrupt and morally bankrupt individuals figure out how to 'game' the system in their favor. New laws must be established, making everything more complicated. Eventually, the system collapses under its own weight.

It typically occurs when one side or another realizes that they cannot win an argument on merit alone, and they need to tip the scales in their favor. It is a sure sign of moral weakness. Normal corruption is one thing. A purposeful shakedown is something entirely different.

These people are turning our country into a third world nation. I humbly suggest that everyone counting themselves with this lot find another country that fits them better; perhaps one with rampant corruption, pay for play, military juntas, and a non-existent middle class. Perhaps Colombia? Maybe Pakistan?

Posted by: smoof on January 14, 2006 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

"perhaps one with rampant corruption, pay for play, ... and a non-existent middle class. Perhaps Colombia? Maybe Pakistan?"

Or maybe perhaps our very own Los Angeles where a couple bucks to a councilman and the mayor will get you someone else's business.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-deal14jan14,0,7443424.story?coll=la-home-local

Of course these are Democrats, and the unassailable urban ones at that, but still it's republicans alone ruining the country, right?

Screw 'em both.

Posted by: scouser on January 15, 2006 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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