The Moose stresses that it's not the man, it's the system.
Last week at the great right wing tribute to their Moral Leader DeLay, the Bug Man's likely successor was only Congressional leader to address the gathering. Republican Whip Roy Blunt is Tom DeLay without the sharp elbows. Blunt's presence was a testimonial to his recognition that he needs the hard core to ascend to power.
Don't fret K Street- if DeLay takes a fall, the Republican cash flow machine will continue without a break in service. That message came through in an excellent profile of the House's #3 man by Tom Edsall in yesterday's Washington Post. Edsall writes,
"Working outside the glare of public attention, Blunt has maximized the organization's influence by delegating authority to Washington business and trade association lobbyists to help negotiate deals with individual House members to produce majorities on important issues.
"Blunt's organization in scope has begun to rival "DeLay Inc." -- the political fundraising committees, extensive favor-giving and alliances with Republican lobbyists that the majority leader has used to become one of the most influential leaders in memory...
"Here in Washington, Blunt has converted what had been an informal and ad hoc relationship between congressional leaders and the Washington corporate and trade community into a formal, institutionalized alliance. Lobbyists are now an integral part of the Republican whip operation on par with the network of lawmakers who serve as assistant whips."
Change the civics books - we have four key branches of government - executive, legislative, judicial and K Street. The big money lobbyists are feasting on a schmorgasborg of goodies that are served up by a crew of attentive waiters led by DeLay and Blunt.
Note this passage in the Post story about the WTO tax cut bonanza,
"The task of rounding up the votes was delegated by Blunt's whip operation to a coalition of lobbyists, all of whom had clients with huge stakes in the outcome.
"Kenneth J. Kies, representing an array of Fortune 500 companies with facilities in virtually every congressional district -- General Electric, Caterpillar, General Motors, Edison, Microsoft, U.S. Steel -- helped win a host of breaks for his clients and collected fees of $8.69 million. Karl Gallant, a former DeLay aide, represented the Coalition for U.S.-Based Employment, made up of Boeing, Caterpillar, Honeywell, Microsoft and United Technologies, and other companies seeking favorable tax treatment. His firm, the Alexander Strategy Group, received $1.32 million in tax-related fees."
Republican rule is not certainly not about the advancement of limited government or fiscal responsibility but rather the continuation of power through the distribution of Republican patronage. Roy Blunt can deliver the goods just as well as DeLay. He shall be called "Mini D".
If DeLay falls, the House will be in good hands (from K Streets perspective). Yes, DeLay is a noxious force in American politics. But the problem is not limited to one individual but a system of crony capitalism that is worthy of the Second Gilded Age. --