Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I'm Back, Part Deux

And I'm a genius! Ok, so I haven't yet worked out whether I'll keep up this blog, or start a new one. Somehow, writing on Bellhorn At Bat, when I've moved to the Washington, D.C. area and Bellhorn has moved into obscurity, seems a little odd. But, in the meantime, I just want to point out this prescient little posting of mine -- if I may pat myself on the back a little:

Thursday, May 12, 2005
Oh no, all the lobbyists are turning Republican!
In his New Republic article (you may need to be a subscriber) critiquing the advent of "big government conservatism", Jonathan Chait makes the case that this apparent oxymoron is not the accidental result of myriad unrelated policies (like the No Child Left Behind Act or politically-motivated subsidies), but is in fact the new Republican philosophy. He cites, as one piece of evidence, the "K Street strategy" masterminded by Tom DeLay. This is the campaign to force Washington lobbying firms to hire only Republicans, unlike in the past when lobbying firms tried to remain bi-partisan, knowing that either party could be in power at any given time.

The K Street strategy is one of the many things that Democrats hold against Tom DeLay, but personally, I think the Democrats should really take a "briar patch" approach to this idea: Oh no, whatever you do, please don't turn all the lobbyists into Republicans, that will be awful for us! There can't be many more despised professions than that of Washington lobbyist. I'd wager they rank up there with used car salesman or trial lawyers in the minds of most Americans: sleazy, opportunistic, dishonest.

So frankly, I'm delighted by the K Street Strategy. When the inevitable backlash against Washington excesses comes -- and it's looking like it might be happening soon -- it'll be nice to have all the bad guys be Republicans. Plus, as long as the lobbying groups are bi-partisan, you're not going to see either political party really go after them. But if Democrats are already being excluded from the public trough profession, they have no reason to defend it (although they'll gladly re-join when given a chance).

So, no, please, Tom DeLay, don't turn all those lobbyists into Republicans, please!

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