A Lobbyist's Progress
February 10, 2005 4:08 PM   Subscribe

...they are what Republicans in Washington used to call "Beltway Bandits," profiteers who manipulate the power of big government on behalf of well-heeled people who pay them tons of money to do so. Sometime around 1995, Republicans in Washington stopped using the term "Beltway Bandits."...
posted by GriffX (15 comments total)
Who cares about Halliburton? We've got Indian casinos to tar and feather. "Some people call you the elites; I call you my base."
posted by AlexReynolds at 4:24 PM on February 10, 2005

AlexReynolds, I have no idea what you mean, so...

This is really interesting. Thanks for posting this.

Now we see the truth: young democrats-- at least those who slow down and do some thinking later on-- end up conservative. But young republicans tend to grow up to be the most disgusting, vile, idiotic people on the face of the planet.

However, this article is right-- lobbyists on both sides of the aisle are disgusting. (I think the article downplays the right end of the lobbying a little, but not much; it is, after all, about some pretty frightful republican lobbyists.) This "K Street" that he keeps talking about-- and I wish to God that conservatives would spend more time talking about it, and reviling it-- really should be destroyed. I've met a few of the "college republicans" who grew up to work there. You didn't think that there were any people more wretched than the people who want to work in marketing, but there are.
posted by koeselitz at 4:38 PM on February 10, 2005

Koeselitz, did you read the article?
posted by AlexReynolds at 4:40 PM on February 10, 2005

This is incredibly interesting. Oddly enough, I've been thinking about compiling data for an FPP regarding the current state of American Indians. It is not surprising at all that the tribes with gambling rights have been tied up by the republican bureauocracy. I'm thinking that if the republicans are so worried about liberating Iraq, why not start at home and liberate some American Indians? (Just a thought, still working on the facts and logistics.)
posted by snsranch at 5:12 PM on February 10, 2005

AlexReynolds: yeah, I did. Nobody was tarring and feathering Indian casinos, except maybe in an even more metaphorical sense.

The article is about how some extremely dishonest lobbyists took advantage of Indian tribes; those lobbyists went after the tribes with casinos because they were the ones with a little more money. The article is about how sadistic and sick those lobbyists are, and how that type of politics could ruin Washington further. Nowhere, however, does the article say that casinos are good or bad, so far as I could see. Maybe I missed it.

Do you mean that the lobbyists were doing the tarring and feathering? But I wouldn't understand that: who's "tarred and feathered" Halliburton in that way?
posted by koeselitz at 5:26 PM on February 10, 2005

Koeselitz, his comment was regarding the fact that you missed the brief line in the article that explained "K-street". That is all.
posted by snsranch at 5:30 PM on February 10, 2005

(K Street, in downtown Washington, is where all the lobbyists have offices, just as securities traders used to be confined to Wall Street and drunks to Skid Row.)
posted by snsranch at 5:32 PM on February 10, 2005

Yeah, I know where k street is. I've been there. Sorry if the quotation marks were misleading-- I just didn't want to sound like some weird "in the know" Washington guy, as I hate those people.
posted by koeselitz at 5:35 PM on February 10, 2005

Bah, like we're really going to think you're one of "those" assholes!
posted by snsranch at 5:43 PM on February 10, 2005

Reed refuses to take casino tribes as clients. The tribes therefore hired Scanlon, who hired Reed.

Such stoic ethics. All it takes is one degree of separation and all qualms quckly fade away.
posted by effwerd at 6:48 PM on February 10, 2005

As the Reagan years wound down, the conservative movement's anti-communism, and the Reagan Doctrine it had encouraged, were being vindicated by the collapse of the Soviet Empire. Abramoff left Washington to become, improbably, a movie producer. In 1989, he produced Red Scorpion, an action thriller about anti-Communist guerrillas fighting and sweating in the African jungle. ("He's a human killing machine," said the advertisements. "Taught to stalk. Trained to kill. Programmed to destroy. He's played by their rules . . . Until now.") The movie starred Dolph Lundgren, who before drifting into total obscurity was a poor man's Jean Claude Van Damme, who was a poor man's Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was later reported that Red Scorpion was financed in part by the white South African government, which had also subsidized Savimbi, as well as an international student conference Abramoff had put on in the mid-1980s. Red Scorpion was followed by Red Scorpion 2. According to jellyneckr, a reviewer on the Internet Movie Database website, Red Scorpion 2 is even better than Red Scorpion.

Now that be some good writin'!
posted by delmoi at 7:56 PM on February 10, 2005

If it weren't for the K street lobbyists who would write all our laws? :-)
Tom Delay certainly would be lost.
Lobbyists serve a useful function in our society.
They provide an example of what not to do and be.
Get rid of corporatism (fascism) by removing corporate rights of citizenship and K street would no longer be a problem nor would corporatism.
posted by nofundy at 5:35 AM on February 11, 2005

"Lobbyists serve a useful function in our society.
They provide an example of what not to do and be."

Sure. And since they serve as a good example of what not to be, I'd like it if the police in D.C. were given free rein, a coupla rounds of ammunition, and a decent paycheck to make them "not be." Heh.

"Get rid of corporatism (fascism) by removing corporate rights of citizenship and K street would no longer be a problem nor would corporatism."

I don't think it's that easy. That would be a start; but if you got rid of corporate rights of citizenship, people would still be likely to take bribes; or maybe I just don't understand how it works. Is the corporate-citizenship thing really the foundation of the actions of lobbyists? I had thought that it was only the basis for self-defence of large corporations against trustbusting litigation.

There will always be large corporations. Stripping them down somewhat and limiting them is a good idea, but people will still be hanging around trying to make a living "fixing" the laws in a certain way for a fee. Ending lobbying takes more than stripping down corporations.
posted by koeselitz at 8:38 AM on February 11, 2005

delmoi, i loved that paragraph. Completely irrelevant, yet completely satisfying. Trying to think of a poor man's Dolph Lundgren... Carl Weathers?
posted by sandmonk at 8:43 AM on February 11, 2005

Yes, they are.
posted by breezeway at 1:14 PM on February 11, 2005

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