Monday, September 27, 2010

Rachel Maddow on the Repugnican "Pledge"

From Crooks & Liars:

MADDOW: Now, in politics, of course, whenever you‘re making one of your sacred pledges, you also, you know, want it to seem—you always want to seem like that God beamed this down to you and you were just the spokesperson, just the mouthpiece for the Almighty. It wasn‘t authored so much as it was delivered.

Well, in this case, the right click trick shows that this document the GOP pledged for this year is less of a delivery from the Almighty and more of a delivery from AIG and ExxonMobil and Pfizer and Comcast. The magic of right clicking the PDF revealed today that the listed author of the Republican Party‘s new “Pledge to America” is a fellow named Brian Wild, a staffer for John Boehner, who is also a former lobbyist for all of the aforementioned companies and more.

Mr. Wild worked for the Nichols Group, a lobbying firm that was paid more than $740,000 to lobby for AIG, more than $1.3 million to lobby for ExxonMobil, more than $625,000 to lobby for the pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

The reason that is particularly awkward for this particular political document is because Republicans went out of their way with this thing to make this particular pledge seem like it was just the voice of the people.

Republican Congressman Mike Pence said the effort would prove that “the Democratic majority isn‘t listening, but House Republicans will.” House Republicans will, not like those rats.

House Republicans will listen and then we‘ll have an Exxon lobbyist write it down.

As part of that “we‘re listening to you” spin, the whole basis of the Republican campaign pledge was their big “America Speaking Out” Web site—giving the impression to anybody visiting that Web site, that whatever suggestion got the most thumbs-up votes on the Web site would become part of this Republican agenda. Republicans were merely a vessel for the desires of the American people.

But it turns out the desires of the American people as expressed at with those little thumbs-up, they were for legalizing pot and ending the outsourcing of American jobs to other countries. Those are some of the things that turned out to be the most popular ideas, the most thumbs-up on the “America Speaking Out” Web site.

But those stated desires of the American people, that Americans weren‘t going to ignore like that Democrat majority does, those desires were not, in fact, beamed directly from through the larynxes of the Republican leaders today and back out to the American people when these Republican leaders gather to unveil their new agenda. Legalizing pot, for example, shockingly, is nowhere to be found in the Republican‘s new “Pledge to America.”

And Republicans say nothing at all about that other very popular idea of trying to stop the outsourcing of American jobs, which would seem to suggest two things. One, who they say they‘re listening to doesn‘t seem to be nearly as important as who they actually let the write the thing. And two, next time Republicans decide to come up with a pledge or contract or manifesto, wouldn‘t it be awesome if the pot lobby got a lobbyist on the inside who could secretly author the whole thing? That I would pay to see in a full-page ad in TV guide. That I would tear out and put up on the fridge.

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