But we are certain that the public is disgusted with excess and with privilege. We hope the Hastert-Dreier effort leads to sweeping reforms including the end of subsidized travel and other obvious influence operations. Just as importantly, we call for major changes to increase openness, transparency and accountability in Congressional operations and in the appropriations process.
As for the Republican leadership elections, we hope to see more candidates who will support these goals, and we therefore welcome the entry of Congressman John Shadegg to the race for Majority Leader. We hope every Congressman who is committed to ethical and transparent conduct supports a reform agenda and a reform candidate. And we hope all would-be members of the leadership make themselves available to new media to answer questions now and on a regular basis in the future.
OK, what they really want is to be put on the same dais with the Repubs...
But who's this Shadegg guy?
But this June 2005 passage from CongressDaily tells you a lot about what passes for principle in the GOP House these days:
During the marathon vote for the Medicare prescription drug bill in November 2003, House GOP leaders found a surprising ally in Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz. Shadegg opposed the bill, but helped the party reach its razor-thin margin of victory in the early morning hours.
"There was never any question that John would not support that bill," said Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., Shadegg's friend since their freshman days in the historic GOP class of 1994. "But at a key moment at the end, he helped get the votes. He understood that everything was at stake for our leadership and our speaker, and he knows that sometimes you have to swallow hard."
To recap: There's simply no way John Shadegg would ever have supported that massive drug benefit, which made a complete mockery of small-government conservatism. But he was heroically instrumental to its passage. Leadership, thy name is Shadegg!
But the sad reality is, the Republican Party would not exist without "K-Street Corruption."
The above link links to this article, which shows just how intimately bound up the Republicans are with K-Street lobbyists:
Inside the House Republican leadership, the former pest exterminator from Houston is the enforcer. His mission is to ensure that money flows along the same stream as policy, that the pro-business deregulatory agenda of the House Republicans receives the undivided financial support of the corporate interests that benefit from it. His motto is an unabashedly blunt interpretation of the dictums of Speaker Newt Gingrich: "If you want to play in our revolution, you have to live by our rules."
The role of money in the revolution has been obscured by the titanic clash with President Clinton and the Democrats over balanced budgets and the reshaping of the federal government, but it is part of that larger struggle. Money is at the center of Gingrich's transformation of the House. With the new alignment of ideological allies in the business and political worlds, there are unparalleled opportunities for both the people who give the money and the people who receive it.
It is such an obvious quid pro quo that it goes almost unnoticed. From House Republicans come measures that gratify industry: weakening environmental standards, loosening workplace safety rules, limiting the legal liability of corporations, defunding nonprofit groups that present an opposing view. From the beneficiaries of that legislation come millions of dollars in campaign contributions.
"The Republicans have a wonderful situation," said one trade association president, a longtime Democrat. "They don't have to prostitute themselves. They are ideologically in sync" with the corporate PACs. "Every politician dreams of being able to meet your conscience and raise money at the same time."
Yet money is also the source of increasing tension among House Republicans that could ultimately weaken them, if not tear them apart. The conflict, in essence, is between ideology and populist reform. One wing wants to collect as much corporate money as possible to sustain and expand the revolution. Another wing fears that this will disillusion voters who brought the Republicans to power to change the traditional ways of doing business in Washington. Gingrich stands in the middle aware, people around him say, that his tenure could depend in part on his ability to resolve the conflict.
I wonder then, are those right-wing bloggers so self-centered that they don't see what is in plain view?
Perhaps it's not self-centeredness; perhaps it's simple ignorance.
But it's not just, of course, corruption in Congress...
I was watching the Alito hearings- and the witnesses were coming forth on the Vanguard thing (I've changed my mind about that a bit- Alito should have recused himself, and doesnt' deserve confirmation for that bit alone), but more importantly, on how Alito's axe is not ideological- he's a "strict constructionist" only when it serves to enhance the government's power, and the rest of the time, he's a from-whole-cloth make up shit as he goes justice.
And yet... the propaganda says otherwise.
How can people be so in defiance of reality?
How can they not see that somebody that votes against investors against corporations consistently isn't on their side? I mean, forget about women needing abortions to save their lives; forget about cops beating the shit out of some poor person- this Alito guy's out for middle class people's wallets. Not that there's nothing repugnant about Alito ruling against women needing abortions to save their lives or cops beating the shit out of poor people, but we're talking not just Wal-Mart middle class here, we're talking Port Washington NY middle class. We're talking Fairview Park OH middle class. We're talking middle class salivating to be upper class. Well, at least, I suppose you could say Alito's consistent.
I don't know why folks don't wake up. But there's too much Kool-Aid being drunk with the bad acid in it I think...