Lobbyists Are Bad . . . Except When They Are Not
That’s about the only way I can summarize the Obama Administration’s Janus-faced position on having lobbyists working for it:
Two days after introducing what he heralded as the most sweeping ethics rules in American history — ones that would “close the revolving door that lets lobbyists come into government freely” — President Barack Obama today waived those rules for his nominee for Deputy Secretary of Defense,William Lynn.
Until last fall, Lynn was a registered lobbyist for the defense contractor Raytheon.
“After consultation with counsel to the president,” said Director of the Office of Management of Budget Peter Orszag in a statement, “I hereby waive the requirements of Paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Ethics Pledge of Mr. William Lynn. I have determined that it is in the public interest to grant the waiver given Mr. Lynn’s qualifications for his position and the current national security situation. I understand that Mr. Lynn will otherwise comply with the remainder of the pledge and with all preexisting government ethics rules.”
So much then for one of the most hyped campaign promises Team Obama made during the 2008 election cycle. The HopeAndChange Administration, which promised us that it would clean up the ways of Washington and which touted its candidate’s manifest inexperience as proof that he has not been co-opted by the dirty ways of the nation’s capital has now made clear that contrary to its brand and public assurances, its motto will be “Business As Usual” on a whole host of matters.
Do the Obamaphiles feel betrayed yet? Do they at the very least hear the footsteps of impending betrayal sneaking up on them? Or is it no longer necessary to pretend to be pure as the driven snow now that there isn’t an election to contest in the near term?