After months of finagling the House of Representatives is set to vote later this week on legislation restricting lobbyists’ interactions with lawmakers.
By finagling I mean rethinking and watering down the most stringent elements of the proposed legislation. It’s been thoroughly gutted through the revision process, leaving it a big, stinking red herring.
Just as sure as the recent staff shakeups at the White House were meant to give the impression that Bush is ready for “reform,” this legislation is intended to distract the American public with a token act of reform in the House.
Sure, the president is cleaning house, but without sacking anyone with any real power it’s a meaningless gesture. Enacting toothless legislation is just as effective.
While many initially expressed shock and anger at the greed of Reps Randy “Duke” Cunningham, Tom DeLay and the like, many months have since passed, and the topic of the day has changed many, many times.
The bad news for Republicants is that more often than not it was some manner of blow to their ranks – NSA wiretaps, Dubai ports, Rummy’s woes, etc. The good news for them is that each of these successive stories buried lobbying reform a little deeper.
So, here we’ve got a distracted public with a short memory, and a GOP-controlled House that supports minimal reform.
A vote for the legislation as written will be a victory for lobbyists. Ordinary folks like you and I will never be able to compete with them as long as our wallets are small, and our elected officials are wanting of integrity.