Steny Hoyer's Hostile Takeover
by David Sirota, Wed May 03, 2006 at 12:05:58 PM EDT
Folks are rightly outraged today about House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer vigorously coming to the defense of President Bush. You know there's a huge problem with our political system when the number two Democrat in the House is throwing himself in front of the media to defend an extreme right-wing President.
But then, we shouldn't be surprised by Hoyer's behavior. As I document in my new book Hostile Takeover, Hoyer has long led the charge to emasculate the Democratic Party. Whether on economic policy, on the war, on trade policy or on just generally selling out to Big Money interests, Hoyer has self-servingly gone out of his way to undermine his party. Put another way - if you are looking for one of the root causes of the Democratic Party's problems, look no further than Steny Hoyer.
Let's take a look at Hoyer's recent behavior in aiding and abetting the hostile takeover of our government. On economics, here's what I pointed out back in January:
You remember, it was Hoyer - the Democratic Whip - who refused to whip votes together to try to defeat the corporate-written Central American Free Trade Agreement. When Pelosi tried to build opposition to the disgusting bankruptcy bill, it was Hoyer, the second-ranking Democrat in the House, who not only didn't whip against the bankruptcy bill, but actually voted for it, after pocketing massive campaign contributions from the banking industry...And when Pelosi worked to keep her caucus together in opposing the GOP Energy Bill, it was Hoyer who voted for the nauseating legislation after pocketing more than $300,000 from energy/natural resource industry cash. That legislation that literally gave away billions of taxpayer dollars to the energy industry profiteers who proceeded to bilk Americans with higher and higher gas prices.
On Iraq, the same kind of behavior:
In today's Washington Post, for instance, the paper reported that according to congressional sources, Hoyer "told colleagues that Pelosi's recent endorsement of a speedy withdrawal [from Iraq] combined with her claim that more than half of House Democrats support her position, could backfire on the party." You might recall that last week it was Hoyer who, after Pelosi came out in support of Jack Murtha's plan for an exit strategy, was quoted in the Post saying withdrawal "could lead to disaster" - a statement only a Washington politician wholly out of touch with ordinary Americans could make, considering a disaster has long been unfolding in Iraq, and considering most Americans now support an exit strategy.
Then there is the corruption at the root of the hostile takeover of our government:
Then, while Pelosi works to resist the influence of corporate interests as she goes after the GOP's "culture of corruption," it is Hoyer who is deliberately landing stories in newspapers about his efforts to formalize his own system of legalized bribery - putting his own campaign wallet ahead of Democrats' efforts to develop a message of reform. Today in Roll Call, for instance, it was Hoyer who placed the story that details his efforts to "woo K Street" (aka. the corporate lobbying community). The story notes he convened a meeting of "50 business-minded Democratic consultants, lobbyists and corporate officers to get them to commit to writing checks." And in case you didn't think Hoyer was trying to land these stories - just check out his website (since taken down after criticism) where he brazenly displays a similar story, as if his corporate shakedown operation is a trophy to be marveled at - and not an albatross that directly undermines his party's message.
Remember folks - this is the number two Democrat in the House, opposing courageous members of his own party who are trying to take our country back. And now he has taken it to a whole new level by criticizing critics of President Bush. If you don't think there's a hostile takeover going on, just look at these examples, and remember the name Steny Hoyer: he's leading that takeover towards completion.