With former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton set to have a fundraiser with a lobbyist for the NRA, the topic of money and politics has come back to center stage. Clinton has tried to use Senator Bernie Sander’s positions on gun control to paint herself as more progressive, despite in 2008 using then-Senator Barack Obama’s positions on gun control to show him to be too progressive.
But Clinton is not the only one revising 2008 positions. The Democratic National Committee announced it will be reversing restrictions introduced by presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008 that banned donations from federal lobbyists and political action committees. Hope and change (back).
Of course, to say “announced” is not accurate. The lifting of the restrictions on lobbyists and corporate PACs was, according to The Washington Post, “quietly introduced at some point during the past couple of months.” The DNC has reportedly already named a finance director for PAC donations and lobbyists have already been solicited to make party contributions.
Is this the most transparent party in American history?
And, as if on cue, the response by the DNC has been to defend the betrayal of stated principles as being necessary to beat the Republicans. Deputy Communications Director for the DNC Mark Paustenbach claimed in an email to the Post “The DNC’s recent change in guidelines will ensure that we continue to have the resources and infrastructure in place to best support whoever emerges as our eventual nominee. Electing a Democrat to the White House is vital to building on the progress we’ve made over the last seven years.”
Except the progress of the last seven years has mostly gone to Corporate America and Wall Street, not the working families the Democratic Party claims to represent. The middle class has been mostly destroyed, childhood poverty has increased, and many Americans have simply dropped out of the labor force.
The one achievement repeatedly touted is the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare,” which requires Americans to give money to parasitic private insurance companies. As the White House itself noted during the congressional fight, much of the ACA is based on conservative ideas and arguably appears to resemble a health care plan the Republican Party proposed in 1993. And there is even less doubt that the individual mandate in Obamacare is a Republican idea originally proposed by the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation.
In other words, repealing a ban on taking money form lobbyists and corporate PACs is very unlikely to preserve any “progress” that has been made in the last seven years. It is simply removing one of the last minor barriers to the corrupt influence peddling that status quo officials at the Democratic Party lament publicly, while reaching under the table and collecting corporate cash.