February 27, 2007

This Is Draining The Swamp?

I have a new opinion piece in today's Examiner, part of the Blog Board series that Mark Tapscott has pioneered at the newspaper chain. Today's essay looks at the efforts by Democrats to meet their campaign rhetoric, drain the swamp and end the "culture of corruption", efforts that appear almost non-existent at this point:

Democrats won control of Congress by emphasizing Republican scandals and corruption and promising clean government. The start of the 110th Congress has not demonstrated much of a commitment to making that a reality, and the start of the 2008 primary campaign leaves even less hope that the Democrats will address corruption. ...

National Review highlighted a new effort by recently ascendant progressives that has more than a ring of familiarity. The well-connected Campaign for America’s Future announced that it will take back K Street from conservatives, and that the new Democratic majority has helped lead the way ...

The list of founders and advisers to CAF reads like a who’s who of Democratic Party activists. Jesse Jackson, former Sen. Howard Metzenbaum of Ohio, former California state Sen. Tom Hayden, Jim Hightower of Texas, and Clinton-era Secretary of Labor Robert Reich lead a host of union leaders and academics who have all stumped for Democrats.

These activists have set CAF up as the middleman to do exactly what Democrats excoriated DeLay for doing directly.

I also discuss the recent efforts by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to buy endorsements from South Carolina politicians, a development that has received little attention from any news organization outside CNN and AP. Barack Obama loses a bit of his outsider/reformist glow here, as the only reason he didn't buy Darrell Jackson and a handful of South Carolina legislators is because he wouldn't bid high enough to make the sale. Perhaps Obama can run as a fiscal conservative instead.

We're less than eight weeks into the Democratic majority in Congress, and already lobbyists have been rehabilitated and Democratic politicians have put themselves on the auction block for endorsements. That swamp keeps getting higher and higher ...


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