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Thursday, November 16, 2006


End of the 'Run Amok' Presidency

Elephants' Graveyard * Democrats and 'K' Street

Bush in purgatory. The smirk is gone. The president spent his capital like a drunken sailor and the American voters in their wisdom put him in his place on November 7th. In his own words he got a "thumpin". Our Strangelovian vice president must be licking his wound in a bunker somewhere. Not a pip out of him after the results of midterm elections became known. Announcement of his resignation due to health reasons wouldn't come as a surprise.

The inimitable Hendrik Hertzberg of The New Yorker summed it up in the final paragraph of his Talk of the Town piece, THUMP. The November 20th issue's cover by Mark Ulriksen shows statue of an elephant being toppled, with the White House in the background.

  • It has been obvious for some time that, as President of the United States, George W. Bush is in very far over his head. He does not know how to use power wisely. He will now have a Democratic Congress to restrain him, and, perhaps, to protect him—and us—from his unfettered impulses. This may not be the Thanksgiving he was looking forward to, but the rest of us have reason to be grateful.

'K' Street Kerfuffle

Special interest groups are readjusting to the new reality. Lobbyists with Democratic connections are back in favor. There is little doubt that some members of the 110th Congress will succumb to the temptations and be persuaded to drink from the pail. That is how our system works. Would they stoop as low as their predecessors? Let's hope that they do not.

As Guard Changes in Congress, Lobbyists Scramble
NY Times 11/15/06

K STREET DEMS SUDDENLY VERY POPULAR: Republicans do not cede control of Congress for nearly two months, but money, power and influence are already beginning to change hands. The political economy, at least here in the capital, is humming for Democrats.

Democratic lobbyists are fielding calls from pharmaceutical companies, the oil and gas industry and military companies, all of which had grown accustomed to patronizing Republicans, as the environment in Washington abruptly shifts.

The Republican Party lost its grip on Congress and is now bracing to lose its hold over K Street, the bustling corridor that has become synonymous with the lobbying industry. The so-called K Street Project, an effort engineered by Republicans to dominate the trade, is unraveling, and Democrats say they intend to pass sweeping reforms rather than reverse the project for their benefit.


"What!" said the Prior, "would you master stay our benefactor's soul in Purgatory?" "Ay," said the officer, coldly, "an ye will not pray him thence for naught he must e'en roast."
-- Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary)

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