Who are the most influential spokespeople within the Democratic Party? I can only think of one, Barack Obama. We are a relatively diverse bunch that only knows what we hear or read, so we aren’t privy to much of what happens behind closed doors. But as microphones go the president has a loud one.
It’s much easier with Republicans where three names leap out, Rush Limbaugh, Grover Norquist and Rupert Murdoch. The Fat Man is listened to by so many of the faithful for three hours a day that no Republican with serious ambitions dares criticize his most atrocious statements. Norquist demands a “no new tax” pledge from candidates that has been taken by all but a handful of current party members in both Houses of Congress. He considers elimination of deductions and subsidies as tax increases, although I doubt that he thinks of Medicaid as such. Murdoch, through Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and other sources of “information” specializes in turning fiction into fact beneficial to the right wing in general.
One thing these three men have in common is that none has served elective office nor, as far as I know ever tried. Yet here they are telling people who have been elected how to vote, indirectly in Murdoch’s case.
What this says about the nation has provided material for many books. What it says about the Republican Party leads to the inescapable conclusion that many of its members if challenged would respond with old GOP warhorse, “They all do it.”
No Virginia they don’t. To my knowledge it’s now unacceptable for lobbyists to sit next to Congressmen while in session and examine the text of proposed legislation before a vote is cast. In any case the pioneers of this practice were Republicans in the wake of the Gingrich Revolution.
The words spoken by Lincoln at Gettysburg, ”government of the people, by the people, for the people” may apply in some manner today, but differently to our two major political parties. If voter suppression efforts by Republicans say anything they are thinking of fewer people. By allowing private citizens to publicly give marching orders to their elected officials they are clearly thinking of the wrong people.