The GOP Sty and Don Fanucci
R. Cort Kirkwood
years, some of us have joked about GOP conservatives being a "Beltway
Mafia," but little did we know they take the moniker seriously.
Thursday’s Washington Post reports, have ousted Democrats
from the top lobbyist jobs in Washington, DC, rather like Don Fanucci
ousted Vito Corleone from his job at the Italian grocery in favor
of Fanucci’s nephew.
GOP, however, doesn’t have the Black Hand’s savoir-faire and style.
They’re more like pigs jostling for a spot at the trough.
a decade after Republicans launched a campaign to oust Democrats
from top lobbying jobs in Washington, sometimes through intimidation
and private threats, the Post reports, "they are seizing
a significant number of the most influential positions at trade
associations and corporate government affairs offices and
reaping big financial rewards."
firms such as "General Electric, Comcast, Citigroup, and many
other Fortune 500 companies have hired Bush administration officials
and former GOP congressional advisers for top lobbying posts."
And, the paper says, "a Republican National Committee official
recently told a group of GOP lobbyists that 33 of 36 top-level Washington
positions he is monitoring went to Republicans, according to someone
who attended the meeting."
tactics in this "K Street Project" have landed Rep. Tom
Delay, the world’s most famous right-wing bug killer, in hot water
with the oxymoronic House Ethics Committee. Democrats also want
a probe of GOP pressure on another industry to hire a Republican
corporate Hollywood may hire a Republican to run its lobby group.
Significantly, the remuneration for these jobs is lucrative. One
pays $750,000 a year.
of these Republicans bill themselves as conservatives, although
conservatives once espoused limited, constitutional government.
Then again, one doesn’t get paid 750 grand to lobby for limited
other words, Republican conservatism is inversely proportional to
the size of the paycheck. But Republicans can’t get that paycheck
until they have learned the ropes in government itself.
only in the sense they may spend a little less money than Democrats,
Republicans expand government as congressmen or bureaucrats, then,
having worked on the inside, easily waddle through the revolving
door to K St. When a big company or industry lobby group dangles
a fat paycheck, the conservative Republican oinks.
principle of limited government goes out the window. Suddenly, that
useless agency in the Energy Department is crucial to national survival.
Special legislation isn’t such a bad idea. Formerly wasteful government
contracts and subsidies miraculously benefit the public weal.
don’t think Republicans expand government solely for the benefit
of American freeloaders. They’re big in the "foreign agent"
business. For huge fees, foreign agents shill for other countries
and seek subsidies for them, a job that requires registration with
the Justice Department.
agentry is a lucrative job for soldiers in the Beltway Mafia. Ten
grand a month buys a lot steak and salad at The Palm.
back to the barnyard. Republicans and Democrats are just differently
colored pigs rolling in the same sty.
reform is impossible. To those who say we must vote for Republicans
because they are the lesser of two evils, the answer is this: The
lesser of two evils is evil. And many times it isn't lesser.
must be destroyed. The sty must be drained.
columnist R. Cort Kirkwood [send
him mail] is managing editor of the Daily News-Record
in Harrisonburg, Va.
© 2003 LewRockwell.com
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