Posted Without Comment

From AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) House Democrats are suddenly balking at the tough lobbying reforms they touted to voters last fall as a reason for putting them in charge of Congress.

Now that they are running things, many Democrats want to keep the big campaign donations and lavish parties that lobbyists put together for them. They’re also having second thoughts about having to wait an extra year before they can become high-paid lobbyists themselves should they retire or be defeated at the polls.

The growing resistance to several proposed reforms now threatens passage of a bill that once seemed on track to fulfill Democrats’ campaign promise of cleaner fundraising and lobbying practices.

“The longer we wait, the weaker the bill seems to get,” said Craig Holman of Public Citizen, which has pushed for the changes. “The sense of urgency is fading,” he said, in part because scandals such as those involving disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former Rep. Duke Cunningham, R-Calif., have given way to other news.

The situation concerns some Democrats, who note their party campaigned against a “culture of corruption” in 2006, when voters ended a long run of Republican control of Congress. Several high-profile issues remained in doubt Friday, five days before the House Judiciary Committee is to take up the legislation.

OK, I lied. I have to comment.

There is a genuine opportunity for the Democratic Party to kick ass on the issue of reform. I’ve long pointed out that this generation of Democratic leaders – with the full complicity of the would-be reformist Netroots – is unlikely to seize that opportunity.

16 thoughts on “Posted Without Comment”

  1. The dems are just too busy trying to surrender in iraq. There just isn’t enough time this term. All they need is another 12-14 years. It’ll get done. They promised. Dems would never lie or con the public.

    Would they?

  2. Hail to the new boss, same as the old boss!

    “In all highly developed societies, *civil servant is semantically equivalent to civil master*.”

    R. A. Heinlein, _The Notebooks of Lazarus Long_

  3. There is no balking, and no change of heart. There was never the slightest intention to reform anything.

    They certainly aren’t going to give up the big donations. The Democratic Party, even more than Republicans, is Big Money. You might as well give up ugly pantsuits, or the phrase “false pretenses”. There’d be nothing left.

    The Democrats have made themselves nice and cozy by pretending that “corruption” is whatever Republicans do, and are confident that they can dodge any scandal by claiming it’s a vast right-wing smear job, or an attempt to divert attention from something else.

  4. You don’t get it. It’s the _Republicans_ whom the Dems wanted to reform. Because the Dems are pure of heart and intentions, they needed no reform.

    The Democrats know how to do graft and corruption _cleanly_. Just ask Diane Feinstein.

  5. Heck, guys, I am one of the dreaded neo-con Rethuglicans. You know one of the mindless drones mesmerized by GW and the Rovemaster, held in thrall to Bushhitlerhalliburtoncheneywarmachine. Every bunch of politicians [spit] has beaten the campaignfinancereformcultureofcorruptionweneeditnow drum when they were out of power. It is politician speak for “They took my ball, WAAAAAAAAH!” They wait long enough for the 30 second memories of the body politic to fade and then the need for reform dies.

    To get real reform we need to push it through from the people. Campaign finance reform – lobbying reform measures – term limits – etc.

    Especially term limits. That makes sure that the citizen politician cannot be totally corrupted by the DC machine. Make tenures in that cesspit short and it may cease to be one.

    Throw the Bums Out! Vote against the incumbent. Put new people in DC.

    The Hobo

  6. The idea the party of Aaron Burr, William Tweed, Richard Daley and Tammany Hall has any interest in reforming anything is laughable. Honest Democrat is a contradiction in terms.

  7. The atlantic had a series of articles based on the idea of Tocqueville’s travels. One of his trips led him to a Democratic Committee meeting pre-2004 election. Democrats were still reeling from 2000/2002, and we’re trying to figure out solutions for 2004/2006.

    The thing he heard constantly was “We don’t have enough money!”. Not ideas, not making a better argument, not returning to the roots of the democratic party. Money.

    That’s a serious problem. I support the general scope of the D party (especially to keep republicans in line, I also support republicans to some extent when the opposite is true). However, the idea that either party is going to bring reform on the next cycle is becoming laughable.

    So…How does one raise hell about this in your own party? I guess I need to start writing letters. But it seems like Senators/Congress(wo)men have completely sheltered themselves from answering the questions of people like me.

    What’s next?

  8. celebrim:

    Sooner or later, we are going to need new parties.

    Or old ones. Where are the Federalists and the Jefferson republicans when we need them? I’d settle for some Lincoln Republicans and some Jackson Democrats (Andrew or Scoop, doesn’t matter).

    What we really need is a 10-year moratorium on all political parties, with all funds frozen in escrow and everybody forced to run as an Independent.

    Since we’ll never get that without mass executions, how about an end to voter party registration, with everyone registered to vote only?

  9. “Want less corruption? Reduce the size of government.”

    I read a very well written book which I no longer know the name of which argued just that. However, it’s not just goverment. It’s beaurocracy written into law that prevents many in power from being ‘caught’. Even reducing the size of goverment is not going to stop that problem.

  10. A.L., I am sorry but I cannot resist this cheap shot. I thought that AP had lost all your trust and confidence, especially when it uses unnamed and anoynomous sources. I guess that when AP’s “facts” and interpretations are are more supportive of your beliefs you are willing to cut them a little more slack.

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