When Republicans stand strong on principles while Democrats obsess about political practicality, Democrats repeatedly concede too much and Republicans repeatedly win more than policy and politics would otherwise dictate. The immigration reform markup is only the latest example of this larger, depressing state of affairs. Maybe it’s time for the Democrats to remember their safe word. Might I suggest “ENOUGH!”?
That’s what I say about Democrats all the time: they function as a product of pragmatism over principles.
I would not be surprised if the modern Democratic Party’s strategy is secretly being bankrolled by Eli Lilly as a ploy to sell Prozac to liberals.
In the latest example of this disconcerting trend, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) proposed an amendment to the Senate immigration markup that would arguably harm American workers. In fact, it wasn’t just Democrats and labor unions that opposed this amendment; Republican Sen. Charles Grassley also opposed the amendment. But Democrats nonetheless backed the change in order to woo Hatch’s committee vote. Meanwhile, not only was Hatch’s committee vote not needed to approve the bill but Hatch has explicitly said he may still not vote for the legislation unless other changes are made. In other words, Hatch got to water down the legislation and Democrats got, er, well… nothing.
CAP doesn’t publicly disclose the members of its Business Alliance, but I obtained multiple internal lists from 2011 showing that dozens of major corporations had joined. The lists were prepared by Chris Belisle, who at the time served as the alliance’s senior manager after having been recruited from his prior position as manager of corporate relations at the US Chamber of Commerce. According to these lists, CAP’s donors included Comcast, Walmart, General Motors, Pacific Gas and Electric, General Electric, Boeing and Lockheed. Though it doesn’t appear on the lists, the University of Phoenix was also a donor.
Incidentally, Scott Lilly, a Hill veteran who joined CAP in 2004 as a senior fellow covering national security, simultaneously served as a registered lobbyist for Lockheed between 2005 and 2011. Rudy deLeon, CAP’s senior vice president for national security and international policy, was a Boeing executive and directed the company’s lobbying operations between 2001 and 2006, before joining the think tank the following year.
Of the CAP donors mentioned in this story, I contacted Lockheed, which refused to confirm or deny its membership in the Business Alliance, and First Solar and Boeing, both of which confirmed that they had been members but wouldn’t say how much they gave or when. “Our work with think tanks is not political, but is more educational in nature,” Tim Neale of Boeing told me. “We want to learn from and share ideas with scholars across the political spectrum, and we like to get a wide range of viewpoints and ideas rather than focus solely on a particular political bent.
Term limits was supposed to produce fresh blood,” said Jack Pitney, a government professor at Claremont McKenna College in the Los Angeles area. “Instead it’s produced recycled blood.
It’s the money that is the problem. To that end, I have a suggestion for you.