Not that I'm any fan of lobbyists, but the NYTimes op-ed copied below seems very ominous to me. It has a distinct "cultural revolution"/Mao/Chavez/cementing power/killing-off-the-opposition flavor.
Seriously, Obama and his minions frighten the living crap out of me.
I haven't wrapped my brain around the full meaning of this yet. Maybe someone else can tell me if I'm missing something and we should all go hand in hand into a rosy future together. But then I remember what Ellsworth Toohey told Peter Keating (in Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead") about "The Future" (http://robbservations.blogspot.com/2009/06/good-night-america.html).
A friend offered this comment:
"...The world of the future. The world I want. A world of obedience and of unity. A world where the thought of each man will not be his own, but an attempt to guess the thought of the brain of his neighbor who'll have no thought of his own but an attempt to guess the thought of the next neighbor who'll have no thought--and so on, Peter, around the globe. Since all must agree with all. A world where no man will hold a desire for himself, but will direct all his efforts to satisfy the desires of his neighbor who'll have no desires except to satisfy the desires of the next neighbor who'll have no desires--around the globe, Peter. Since all must serve all.
"A world in which man will not work for so innocent an incentive as money, but for that headless monster--prestige. The approval of his fellows--their good opinion--the opinion of men who'll be allowed to hold no opinion. An octopus, all tentacles and no brain. Judgment, Peter! Not judgment, but public polls. An average drawn upon zeroes--since no individuality will be permitted.
"A world with its motor cut off and a single heart, pumped by hand. My hand--and the hands of a few, a very few other men like me. Those who know what makes you tick--you great, wonderful average, you who have not risen in fury when we called you the average, the little, the common, you who've liked and accepted those names. You'll sit enthroned and enshrined, you, the little people, the absolute ruler to make all past rulers squirm with envy, the absolute, the unlimited, God and Prophet and King combined. Vox populi. The average, the common, the general.
"Do you know the proper antonym for Ego? Bromide, Peter. The rule of the bromide. But even the trite has to be originated by someone at some time. We'll do the originating. Vox dei. We'll enjoy unlimited submission--from men who've learned nothing except to submit. We'll call it 'to serve.'
"We'll give out medals for service. You'll fall over one another in a scramble to see who can submit better and more. There will be no other distinction to seek. No other form of personal achievement. Can you see Howard Roark in the picture? No? Then don't waste time on foolish questions. Everything that can't be ruled, must go.
"And if freaks persist in being born occasionally, they will not survive beyond their twelfth year.
"When their brain begins to function, it will feel the pressure and it will explode. The pressure gauged to a vacuum. Do you know the fate of deep-sea creatures brought out to sunlight? So much for future Roarks. The rest of you will smile and obey. Have you noticed that the imbecile always smiles? Man's first frown is the first touch of God on his forehead. The touch of thought. But we'll have neither God nor thought. Only voting by smiles. Automatic levers--all saying yes...
"...Peter, my poor old friend, I'm the most selfless man you've every known. I have less independence than you, whom I just forced to sell your soul. You've used people at least for the sake of what you could get from them for yourself. I want nothing for myself. I use people for the sake of what I can do to them. It's my only function and satisfaction. I have no private purpose. I want power. I want my world of the future. Let all live for all. Let all sacrifice and none profit. Let all suffer and none enjoy. Let progress stop. Let all stagnate. There's equality in stagnation. All subjugated to the will of all. Universal slavery--without even the dignity of a master. Slavery to slavery. A great circle--and a total equality. The world of the future."
"...with no or few "registered" people, the "new voices" can't be held accountable, nor can "we the people" see who is responsible. They will become the "unseen" insider/advisors, beginning to replace("ratchet back")...the "915 advisory panels (with 60,000 members) laced across 52 federal agencies that seek "outside" expert advice." Since they won't be registed, they will be considered the Holy of the holy, out for the public good.
"The most important (but inexcusably unconstitutional) effect of the old lobbyist was, in effect, a check's and balance function, which will slowly dissipate as they are replaced by the insider's giving the administration a blank check.
"We are truly facing a tsunami of collectivism."
No Place for (Registered) Lobbyists
Published: December 3, 2009
The Obama administration has roiled Washington’s special-interest galaxy by deciding to unseat hundreds of registered lobbyists from government advisory boards. A precise roster has yet to be done. But lobbyists clearly should have no place on the more than 915 advisory panels (with 60,000 members) laced across 52 federal agencies that seek “outside” expert advice.
The White House decree to gradually remove them is hardly the death knell of lobbying. But it raises hopes that the administration may be serious about its pledge to ratchet back the in-your-pocket influence of Washington’s — count them — 13,000 registered lobbyists.
K Street is predictably crying foul, warning that irreplaceable wisdom and experience will be lost in such complex fields as global trade, national defense, consumer product safety and the environment. “They are crippling themselves terribly,” one lobbyist lamented to The Washington Post.
And before anyone gets too excited, it’s important to remember that the winnowing has no effect on corporate executives who are not registered lobbyists and will still be free to take seats, if they deign. As a matter of course, retired senators and other panjandrums in the influence industry often don’t bother to register; they reign more subtly over staffs of registered lobbyists.
No one is arguing that the advisory boards are worthless or that their unpaid members are all out for themselves. But “let some new voices be heard,” as Norm Eisen, the White House ethics counsel, put it. More to the point, why should a registered advocate be afforded an insider’s seat at the table of supposedly objective advisers?