Lobbying- Do issues matter to Democrats on mydd?
by bruh21, Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 08:22:51 AM EDT
I know that this blog is chiefly concerned with the election process, but does that mean that issues, themselves, don't matter on mydd.com? It seems their only functions are to serve candidates rather than the reverse. Big Tent Democrat had an excellent diary up on this subject recently, and I want to add to it.
Right now, there is this silly debate about lobbying that is ocurring on this site because the debate is framed as "my candidate didn't take lobbying money" or "your candidate is a hypocrite" because they took lobbying money.
Isn't this besides the point? That is- isn't the question of what each candidate has or has not done besides the point of what we should think with regard to the question raised about the influence of lobbists in DC? You may or may not agree about their influence, but one gets the feeling in reading some of these diaries that the agreement or disagreement is based on which candidate one supports.
I had a good conversation with a Hillary Clinton supporter yesterday , but I felt like the supporter was sometimes missing my point that my concern isn't about this or that candidate- it was about the issue of lobby money in general. Well, not even lobby money in general, but instead from whom DEMOCRATIC candidates are receiving lobbying money and what that means for issues of importance to Democrats.
I don't have a problem with what Big Tent Democrat and others call pandering. He doesn't either. We had a nice back and forth yesterday in which the real issue became to whom are our candidates pandering? If it is to us, then we don't care. If it is to the GOP and "Big corp interest that are against us" (I am being very specific here)- then we should care. The same is true of issues.
Clinton almost did a great job of blurring the question for those who didn't get what she was doing by saying that nursing orgs and groups like unions also lobby. But, that's not really the point, now is it?
The question isn't whether we have a problem with all lobbying. The question is who is doing the lobbying, and the level of their influence, accordingly on each candidate. I care that she is taking money from Big Pharma and Big Insurance because they are the entrenched interest against healthcare reform. They have drawn up plans to redefine universal healthcare in a way that will maximaze their profit, and leave Americans in the same bind we find ourselves now. This to me is where the lobbying money shit hits the fan. Pandering to these interests is where I say Clinton and I would butt heads.
In response to this, everyone seems to say "trust me." No, I don't trust any candidate or politician when it comes to money to do the right thing. Not the least of which is because I want them to pander to us the voters, not the lobbying dollar that redefines universal healthcare to mean something other than universal healthcare.
Others here have tried to play the same "blur the line" games by saying "well x has a book deal, and this is the same." It's a false statement, but let's assume for the sake of argument- that it is the same. Does that make it right?
Not in terms of candidates- but in terms of where we should stand on issues electorally? I expect the common throwing shit against the wall approach will be used in response to my concern, ie, the litmus test argument, or you are on the far left or blah, blah blah.
For the record, I am a moderate. My concerns as a moderate are process issues like what influences the ability to come to the best answer for the American people. I think the best answers, right now, are coming out of the Democratic Party. I want them to pander to those ideas because it will increase our chances of winning elections.
Hence, why I think pandering to the Democratic base is exactly what candidates should be doing since poll after poll says we are the natural majority in terms of what most Americans think when they aren't being asked to label it my team versus your team. The only interest being served by lobbist such as Big Pharma are their own, not Democratic, not the American people. To me, that's the bigger point.