The Republican Party must be quite tired of being ridiculed as The Party of No. Especially when that isn’t even true at all, since they have always been The Party of “Yes, boss!”
All through the time of Bush, and now in the time of whoever-the-heck-it-is-who-should-be-regarded-as-the-leader-of-the-Republican-Party, the one thing they have never wavered on is who they genuflect to five times a day. And that would be Lobbyists. With a capital L.
On absolutely anything to do with any aspect of the economy, their agenda is dictated by Lobbyists. As Steve Benen pointed out yesterday:
When the Senate began work on a jobs bill, Republicans huddled with corporate lobbyists. When the House began work on Wall Street reform, Republicans huddled with industry lobbyists. When Congress worked on health care reform, Republicans huddled with insurance lobbyists. When the Senate moved forward on an energy/climate bill, Republicans huddled with energy lobbyists.
So, naturally, now that the midterm elections are approaching, and the Republican Party is still floundering for a real agenda (as opposed to bullet-style talking points devoid of any and all substance, or relationship to reality), and people are not just starting to notice but starting to actually laugh out loud, the Republican Party has turned to Lobbyists to tell it what its agenda should be.
When asked about the Republican agenda, the man-who-would-be-Speaker, John A. Boehner*, proudly proclaimed: “I say what I mean and I mean what I say”. But someone still needs to tell him what he means to say.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) have invited senior Republican lobbyists and top officials from several large trade groups to the Capitol next week to provide their suggestions for a new GOP agenda.
The meeting is part of the House leaders’ initiative called America Speaking Out, which is intended to draw broad input to create a new policy agenda for the party to launch in the fall.
An e-mail invitation sent to more than 20 trade representatives and obtained by Roll Call summoned guests to Boehner’s second-floor office on July 16 “to discuss House Republican efforts to produce a new policy agenda with a small group of trade association leaders.”
Invitees included Dan Danner, head of the National Federation of Independent Business; Bruce Josten, top lobbyist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Jay Timmons of the National Association of Manufacturers; and Joe Stanton of the National Association of Home Builders.
The Party of “Yes, boss!” clearly has a vision of government. And it seems to consist of government of the lobbyists, by the lobbyists, for the lobbyists. It’s just not fair to mock it as The Party of No.
* No, apparently, there’s no truth in the rumor that the A stands for Asshole.