I was planning to write about the GOP's Pledge To America and so I conscientiously read the pdf that was circulated on Wednesday evening. [Here] I was actually looking forward to what the GOP was going to roll out to recapture the hearts and minds and wallets and votes of Americans, mostly the wallets and votes. However, the more I read, the more I yawned. The answer, my friends, is, “Ho-Hum.” No matter how they package this one, this plan of the GOP is “New Day?--Same old Stuff.” It really and truly is “Back to the Past.” But then, what else did I expect? Today’s GOP might call themselves the Grand Old Party, although it isn’t so grand anymore. It is simply the same old tired, sticky pablum, but repackaged by the cleverest men and women that money can buy.
Huffpost’s Sam Stein helps us by giving us some background as to the authorship of the Pledge To America. [Here] It seems that the Director of this GOP public relations document is an experienced rightwing lobbyist, Brian Wild. Recently, Stein tells us, Wild has worked as a member of House Minority leader Rep. Boehner’s staff and as such, has worked to create a website called AmericaSpeakingOut.com [Here] which is still very buggy, and looks as if it were created by a thirteen-year-old for his Social Studies homework when he really wanted to be throwing a football around with his pals. It’s replete with grammatical errors, there for their, for example. (C+, Mr. Wild)
Before Brian Wild master-minded that website and the Pledge To America pdf, he was a major lobbyist for the Nickles Group, an outfit set up by the former Senator from Oklahoma, Don Nickles. (You remember Don Nickles, don’t you? He was a four-term Senator from Oklahoma(1981-2005) and part of that time, he was Majority Whip and Minority Whip under Trent Lott. By the way, he was a cosponsor of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Lobbying for the Nickles Group was very lucrative. Stein listed some of Brian West’s earnings: [Here]
...[Wild] was paid $740,000 in lobbying contracts from AIG, the former insurance company at the heart of the financial collapse; $800,000 from energy giant Andarko Petroleum; more than $1.1 million from Comcast, more than $1.3 million from Exxon Mobil; and $625,000 from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc.
This gives one a glimpse into the wonderful world of influence peddling, Washington-style, except the peddlers are now called “lobbyists.” And this man wrote the GOP pledge to the American public. Gulp.
Wild also worked on Rep. Pat Toomey’s (R, PA) staff as legislative director. (Toomey is the current GOP candidate for the Senate from Pennsylvania.) He also worked as a deputy staffer for Vice President Dick Cheney.
Do you get the picture? West is a very well-connected, experienced staffer, the kind of person who works in the shadows connecting dots, as well as connecting movers-and-shakers. He knows the oilmen, big drug interests, cable folks and even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
We didn’t expect the “Pledge To America” to be written by troop 54 of the Boy Scouts of America, but aren’t you surprised that it was written by so blatant and well-paid a servant of Big Business? I wonder how many of those screaming Tea Partyers know that they are non-paid shills for Big Business and the Twenty-first Century editions of the Robber Barons?
Yes, indeedy. Back to the past...