Corruption

'The American People Don't Care About Process'

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A couple of months ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi bragged that "the New Direction Congress has passed unprecedented disclosure and lobbying reform laws, created an independent ethics office, and will continue to operate in a transparent and accountable manner." But last month she rejected a C-Span request to televise health care negotiations, as President Obama repeatedly promised on the campaign trail. And last week, discussing the way Congress has produced health care legislation, Pelosi told reporters, "The American people don't care about process." She was reacting to Obama's remarks that the process has been "ugly," involving "backroom deals," "lobbying and horse trading" that "left most Americans wondering, 'What's in it for me?'" By contrast, Pelosi suggested that the ends justify the means:

Notwithstanding Mr. Obama's campaign pledge, Democratic leaders show no inclination to televise the [health care] negotiations on C-Span. A more fastidious process might be the president's stated priority—not theirs.

"As I've said to my colleagues," Ms. Pelosi said, "'Go in the door. The door's locked? Go to the gate. The gate's locked? Climb over the fence.'

"'It's too high? Pole vault in. That doesn't work? Parachute in.' We have to get this done for the American people," she concluded, "one way or the other."

So many questions for us to consider: Do the American people care about process? Did Pelosi think they did when she was talking up the transparency and accountability of the New Direction Congress? Has she changed her mind since then? If so, is her current position any different from the attitude reflected by presidential adviser David Axelrod's remark that "people will never know what's in that bill until we pass it"? Finally, aren't you glad Nancy Pelosi is not stalking you?

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  1. Finally, aren’t you glad Nancy Pelosi is not stalking you?

    I’m pretty sure she is, though. I mean, I keep having these nightmares, and I keep seeing pole vaulters out of the corner of my eye, and when I turn to look, they’re gone, and I hear voices yelling “Geronimo!!!” but I can’t see anything. Jesus, it’s horrible!

    1. I read that Pelosi goes Commando thing somewhere this weekend . . .

      Anyway, I think she is stalking me too and send my special thanks to Naga for lending me his spare broadsword in case she gets in striking range.

      There can be Only One.

      1. Pelosi goes Commando

        please, no. Pass the bill, but for the love of God, don’t go commando, Nancy.

        1. Behold! Her Withered Taint!

  2. Caption Contest!

    “Hammer of Justice crushes you, overpower…”

    1. Justice is good

    2. Yeah, actually that is perfectly apropos for Pelosi –

      The ultimate in vanity
      Exploiting their supremacy
      I can’t believe the things you say

      Seeking no truth
      Winning is all
      Find it so grim, so true, so real

  3. Hmmm… health care reform as breaking and entering.

  4. Wait, that’s not actually Pelosi, right?

    1. It’s Bizarro Nancy.

    2. Nope….Dixie Wetsworth!

      1. I thought she looked somewhat better than Pelosi.

        Then again, so does the average scarecrow.

      2. You’re the cabana boy, aren’t you.

        1. You’re the cabana boy, aren’t you?

          We all have dreams…..

  5. “See? WHAM! See? WHAM! Nothing gets through this thick skull.”

  6. That picture doesn’t even look like Pelosi.

    1. Really. She actually looks kind of cute there. Then there’s this…

  7. The Obama C-Span promise was pretty silly. Pointing cameras in congresspeople’s faces won’t make bills any better. As much of a fan of C-Span as I am, little gets done in front of the camera except grandstanding.

    1. Tony,

      Of course, as always, you are completely correct. Don’t bore our little minds with the sausage making, just bring us the sausage.

      If you have to ask the price you can’t afford it. No, wait . . .

      1. Representative democracy exists for a reason. Most people have lives, and most people’s role in governing begins and ends at the voting booth. We judge lawmakers on results. It’s always been thus. This entire line of attack is Republicans going “hey look, we can attack Obama on this!” I’m sure they really want cameras in the room.

        1. Why do liberals protest in the street so much if their role in governing ends at the voting booth?

          Oh yeah. Lives. Got it.

        2. We judge lawmakers on results.

          Don’t forget, though, those results are not limited merely to the words on the statutory page. They include all the backroom deals that it took to pass the law.

          1. Maybe there wouldn’t be so many backroom deals if ‘limited government’ types hadn’t initiated the system of pay-to-play that dominates the legislative process these days.

            1. I’m ready for my closeup, Mr. Tony.

            2. Hey Tony, I agree with you. She was asking for it, man, dressing like that.

            3. Yeah Tony, liberals just can’t help themselves. They had to take the bribes.

              1. Oh you’re talking about trading pork for votes. Meh. It’s like everyone was born yesterday and were just made aware of how legislating happens.

                I was talking about backroom deals with special interests. For the ubiquity of that you can thank your “limited government” pals, not liberals.

                1. The people who want to spend less money are responsible Tony. Not the people who want to spend more money and are beholden to the Unions and the crooked contractors. yeah that makes sense.

                2. I was talking about backroom deals with special interests.

                  Like organized labor?

              2. If the Capitalists can have a piece of the pie the downtrodden should get some too!

            4. Wait, ‘limited government’ types initiated pay-to-play?

              Tony, Tony, Tony. Pay-to-play is an inherent feature of government always and everywhere.

              Since no one can get rid of it, we limited government types want to to keep it in a box.

              You Total State types seem to want it to be the driving force in the economy.

              1. 90s-era Republicans practically invented the Congress/K Street fuckfest that corrupts legislating to this day, all the while calling their unapologetic corporatism “limited government.”

        3. Representative democracy exists for a reason. Most people have lives, and most people’s role in governing begins and ends at the voting booth. We judge lawmakers on results. It’s always been thus. This entire line of attack is Republicans going “hey look, we can attack Obama on this!” I’m sure they really want cameras in the room.

          Last I checked, we still have a Department of Education. If the American people judged lawmakers by results biannual turnover in the House would be approx. 95%.

          How many Senators who voted for the Iraq clusterfuck lost re-election campaigns?

          Americans are too stupid for self government.

          1. Americans are too stupid for self government.

            Probably. What alternative do you propose?

            1. You’re too stupid to live. That’s what.

            2. They aren’t stupid. Politicians promise them stuff that they want and tell them that the cost will be zero (someone else will pay for it: the rich, the Chinese, our grandchildren, whatever). And, you know what, so far they have been able to pull it off.

          2. I would argue that they’re stupid in the sense that they’re stubbornly trying to make a broken system work. They need to let go and admit that it’s not working.

        4. Agreeing with you gets this:

          Representative democracy exists for a reason. Most people have lives, and most people’s role in governing begins and ends at the voting booth. We judge lawmakers on results. It’s always been thus. This entire line of attack is Republicans going “hey look, we can attack Obama on this!” I’m sure they really want cameras in the room.

          Every day is an opportunity for a Clinton length speech with Carvelle logic to you on H&R. The responses don’t matter to Tonybot.

          1. Ohio State poli-scientist John Mueller wrote in “Capitalism, Democracy & Ralph’s Pretty Good Grocery” that democracy “functions not so much by rule by the majority as by minority rule with majority acquiescence.” Big sigh!

    2. Wow, Tony, you actually sound as if you understand that congresspeople really aren’t the superior beings you big government folks make them out to be. Careful, the other progressives might toss you out of the club.

      You are right in one sense: Obama’s promise was silly, especially since he probably had no intention of keeping it. It was just said to allay fears that shady deals were afoot–fears that of course were fully justified.

      1. What kind of moron thinks congresspeople are superior beings? You don’t understand liberalism very well, which is not surprising here.

        Liberals just happen to believe that government is useful and therefore we shouldn’t elect people who proudly run on a platform of being uninformed and feckless with the agenda of making government as dysfunctional as possible.

        1. Government is inherently dysfunctional. Recognizing that, we libertarians seek to make it as non-functional as possible.

          1. Government is inherently dysfunctional.

            This assertion needs some evidence. There are 100 things you do on any given day that are affected by government policy, without which you’d be dead by now. It’s pretty darned functional in that civilization–despite the best attempts of libertarians–persists.

            My contention is that it doesn’t have to be dysfunctional as it is what we make it. And that it tends to be most dysfunctional when the people in charge believe in the article of faith you posited.

            1. There are 100 things you do on any given day that are affected by government policy, without which you’d be dead by now.

              I’m calling bullshit.

              Cites, please. Support your assertion.

              1. How about I list 10 things you do before lunch?

                Drink safe water

                Use safe toothpaste

                Eat safe food

                Use functioning plumbing so that your morning shit doesn’t pile up on your floor

                Use appliances powered by government regulated electricity

                Evade death by falling ceiling because of building codes

                Drive a safe car…

                …on government-built roads

                Avoid being robbed and murdered as a result of law enforcement protection

                and log on to the government-invented Internet…

                1. Tony, if you actually believe it was the government that made them safe, then I have a I-35E government bridge to sell you in Minneapolis.

                  1. It was I-35W

                2. Don’t forget everyone’s roof leaking without the state roof inspectors.

                3. Don’t forget everyone’s roof leaking without the state roof inspectors.

                  1. Thank god the govenment put an end to double posts.

                4. Hey, government did a really good job protecting all those workers and military personell from exposure to asbestos. Didn’t it?

                  Oh, wait, what is that? Industry was actually below the OSHA standard for years, but still gets sued and loses? The military/government ORDERED asbestos products, in fact, required them, and the companies get sued for it?

                  Yeah, nice government.

                5. Hey, government did a really good job protecting all those workers and military personell from exposure to asbestos. Didn’t it?

                  Oh, wait, what is that? Industry was actually below the OSHA standard for years, but still gets sued and loses? The military/government ORDERED asbestos products, in fact, required them, and the companies get sued for it?

                  Yeah, nice government.

                  1. Hey, government did a really good job protecting all those workers and military personell from exposure to asbestos. Didn’t it?

                    Oh, wait, what is that? Industry was actually below the OSHA standard for years, but still gets sued and loses? The military/government ORDERED asbestos products, in fact, required them, and the companies get sued for it?

                    Yeah, nice government.

                    1. What Big B, sage said.

                6. Tony obviously hasn’t been to my house.

                7. Most of these things you list were actually involve some inconvenience to me caused by government in some way. The other thing (safe toothpaste) I have the market to thank.

                8. Your original statement was: “There are 100 things you do on any given day that are affected by government policy, without which you’d be dead by now.”

                  It is in the latter half of that assertion where you screwed the pooch. I agree that “There are 100 things you do on any given day that are affected by government policy;” however, it is a highly specious assertion that we would all “be dead” without them. Humans somehow managed to live without them for many centuries.

                  So you’re claiming that government is responsible for me having a functioning toilet? That’s a remarkably ignorant thing for even you to assert. And nobody built houses that didn’t fall down before government came along and imposed building codes? Nobody had “safe” food to eat before the almighty government came along and saved us from our own selves?

                  The nonsense you’re spewing here just makes me want to say “fuckin’ A.”

            2. Hmm, and the one who is saying that theft and murder are ok if it’s done by someone wearing the right costume ISN’T believing in an “article of faith”?

              Interesting.

              I guess it’s those of us saying “I don’t care what hat you’re wearing, can you cut it out?” who are some kind of ideologues.

        2. What kind of moron? People who believe that government should intervene in every aspect of individuals’ lives, on the grounds that individuals will make the “wrong” decisions if not “guided” by legislators and bureaucrats. For such a concept to make sense, you must believe that people in government are wiser than the citizens; otherwise, it would just be the blind leading the blind.

          Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? -Thomas Jefferson

        3. There is no such thing as a government without human beings and their actions. If “government” people are to be held to the same ethical standard as any other persons, then it is unfit to exist since it assumes that these people are wiser than everyone else, and can steal or kill anyone else because of reasons that would seem absurd in any other context.

          To believe in government, you must either believe it is not constituted of men or that those men are in some way superior or at least that they are held to a different ethical standard than everyone else. Show me a “government” without human beings and I’ll concede the point that it is useful. Otherwise, why don’t these people just form an organization that is entirely voluntary like any other acceptable human interaction?

          1. You’ve just indicted every form of association, including businesses, as being inherently dysfunctional because they’re composed of human beings.

            Rightly ordered, government IS held to a different standard than any other association of people. It is held accountable by regular elections and built-in checks and balances.

            1. Gutted checks and balances.

            2. The difference is consent.

          2. Thomas Sowell:

            People who are very aware that they have more knowledge than the average person are often very unaware that they do not have one-tenth of the knowledge of all of the average persons put together. In this situation, for the intelligentsia to impose their notions on ordinary people is essentially to impose ignorance on knowledge.

        4. You don’t understand liberalism very well, Stephen Stinkytwat.


    3. Pointing cameras in congresspeople’s faces won’t make bills any better.

      remember you said that when you slither up to defend placement of cameras in public.

  8. The Obama C-Span promise was pretty silly just one of a thousand lies.

    FIFYDS

  9. “By this hammer, I RULE!”

  10. Every evil genius and steampunk adventurer knows the fasted way in is to pilot your drillship through the bedrock.

  11. Sticking to a theme…

    “Between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities… there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars… Hither came Nancy, the Californian, dyed-haired, crazy-eyed, gavel in hand, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under her support-stocking’d feet.”

    1. There’s a Conan theme today? I picked a hell of a day to quit taking amphetamines…

      1. Robert E. Howard theme.

      2. Warty,

        What is The Riddle of Steel? Have you solved it yet?

      3. Well Pelosi has certainly provided us with the lamentation of the women…

    2. Knowing her fate, Pelosi sent out ships to all corners of the Earth.
      On board were the Twelve:
      The poet, the physician, the farmer, the scientist, the magician,
      And the other so-called Gods of our legends,Though Gods they were.
      And as the elders of our time choose to remain blind,

      Let us rejoice and let us sing and dance and ring in the new . . .

      Hail Pelosi!

      Way down below the ocean, where I wanna be, she may be . . .
      Way down below the ocean, where I wanna be, she may be . . .

  12. “We have to get this done for the American people…whether they like it or not.”

  13. She totally ripped off that pose. Fuckin’ bitch.

  14. “This isn’t the pearl necklace I ordered you asshole!”

  15. “As I’ve said to my colleagues,” Ms. Pelosi said, “‘Go in the door. The door’s locked? Go to the gate. The gate’s locked? Climb over the fence.’

    “‘It’s too high? Pole vault in. That doesn’t work? Parachute in.’ We have to get this done for the American people,” she concluded, “one way or the other.”

    Or you could just unlock the goddamn door, you bitch.

    1. Or maybe knock, and ask politely if you can enter? She forgot to mention a battering ram, BTW.

    2. We shall fight at the doors, we shall fight at the gates, we shall fight at the fences, we shall parachute in; we shall never surrender.

  16. Is Nancy saying she’ll pass the bill by any means necessary?

  17. “Go in the door. The door’s locked? Go to the gate. The gate’s locked? Climb over the fence”

    I think she’s telling the press to man up and sneak cameras in regardless of Congress’s wishes.

    1. It does seem that way, doesn’t it? Especially since the only other reading makes so much sense:

      If the American people have locked the door and the gate, and built the fence too high to climb over, tear down that fence in the name of the American people!

  18. Take it to the bridge
    Throw it overboard
    See if it can swim
    Back up to the shore
    No one’s in the house
    Everyone is out
    All the lights are on
    And the blinds are down

  19. I find it telling that Nancy Pelosi is the best the House dems could scrounge up for the speaker post.

    Don’t get me started on Harry Reid.

    1. Last. Female. Speaker. Ever.

      1. She’s certainly helping ensure that Obama is the last black Democrat president….

      2. I predict, your dick is going to fall off from lack of use.

  20. You women wouldn’t be getting raped if you’d just stop saying no.

    1. It’s not rape if the majority voted “yes”

  21. I was talking about backroom deals with special interests. For the ubiquity of that you can thank your “limited government” pals, not liberals.

    Because the people who believe in limiting the scope and influence of government are why everybody who does business in this country feels the need for a lobbyist.

    1. you could follow tony around all day picking up non sequiturs.

    2. When liberals’ plans fail, it is never because it was a bad plan or a stupid idea. No, it is always because of you limited government types messing things up. Thus is how it always shall be in Tony’s pea brain.

    3. 90s-era Republicans practically invented the Congress/K Street orgyfest that corrupts legislating to this day. Now you know and I know that they really weren’t believers in “limited government,” but that WAS the euphemism wantonly employed to describe their unapologetic corporatism (and as far as I’m concerned it has never meant much else.)

      1. And the Democrats just had to follow right? They couldn’t help themselves. Those evil Republicans made them take the bribes. Nothing is ever their fault. They plans no matter how well intentioned are always circumbented by the evil, running dog capitalist counter revolutionary elements of society. Right Tony?

      2. The Republicans invented lobbying and corruption in the 90s? Do you have a newsletter that I can subscribe to?

        1. No, you missed the “practically” in there.

          1. you fucked up our train of ridicule!

          2. I’d like to subscribe to your newsletter, as well.

      3. republicans invented corporatism in the 90s?

        put down the pipe man.

      4. Holy shit Tony. I think you may actually be re-defining insanity.

      5. I’m curious Tony, have you ever heard of the Tammany Hall Machine?

        Let me introduce you to reality of government for the billionth time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tammany_Hall

        1. Yes, Sean, I’ve heard of it. You are aware that we live in the 21st century, aren’t you?

          1. If something was invented in the Nineteenth Century and was used until this day, would saying “We live in the Twenty-First Century” be a meaningful comment to defend the position that it was more recently invented, or an insanely irrelevant one?

  22. Twelve Democratic Senators spent last weekend in Miami Beach raising money from top lobbyists for oil, drug, and other corporate interests that they often decry, according to a guest list for the event obtained by POLITICO.

    The guest list for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s “winter retreat” at the Ritz Carlton South Beach Resort doesn’t include the price tag for attendance, but the maximum contribution to the committee, typical for such events, is $30,000. There, to participate in “informal conversations” and other meetings Saturday, were senators including DSCC Chairman Robert Menendez; Michigan’s Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow; Bob Casey of Pennsylvania; Claire McCaskill of Missouri; freshmen Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Begich of Alaska; and even left-leaning Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

    Across the table was a who’s who of 108 senior Washington lobbyists, including the top lobbying officials for many of the industries Democrats regularly attack: Represented were the American Bankers Association, the tobaco company Altria, the oil company Marathon, several drug manufacturers, the defense contractor Lockheed, and most of the large independent lobbying firms: Ogilvy, BGR, Quinn Gillespie, Heather Podesta, and Tony Podesta.

    The retreat’s guest list is a marked contrast to Menendez’s recent rhetoric, which has echoed the White House denunciation of “special interests” and “fat cats.”

    “In the upcoming elections, voters will face a choice between Republicans who are standing with Wall Street fat cats, bankers and insurance companies ? or Democrats who are working hard to clean up the mess we inherited by putting the people’s interests ahead of the special interests,” Menendez said in a press release last Wednesday.

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/…..ml?showall

  23. Completely off topic, but I want to see a separate topic on this just to show what an absolute failure the drug war is, and what type of impunity it creates.

    Mexico Gunmen Kill 14 Teens, Young Adults
    http://online.wsj.com/article/…..bs=article

    1. that’s the fault of guns!

      1. Don’t make me kill you.

        1. Us Too! Us Too!

  24. off topic:

    a while back there was a trailer for a documentary about underground economies in South America (IIRC). i swear i saw the trailer here… does anybody remember this? have you seen it?

    thanks!

    1. Wild guess, The Power of the Poor with Hernando de Soto?

      1. awesome! thanks!

  25. Nancy:

    “Guess which end goes in first!”

  26. Pelosi is pretty much the definition of evil.

  27. Nancy, “Sold It! Sold It! Sold It!”

  28. The 2011 budget request also marks the Pentagon’s fifth successive attempt to cancel the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 alternate engine for the F-35. In previous years Congress has always reversed the cancellation. Gates said he will make a “strong recommendation” that President Obama veto any legislation sustaining the F136.

    Last year, Congress defied a veto threat and reinstated funding for the alternate engine. But lawmakers got around that threat by fully funding F-35 development and procurement. This time, Gates said, the veto will be tied to providing any funding for the F136. “The level of cost is such now that we have to take a final stand,” he said.

    Aviation Week

    Those damned limited government fanatics!

  29. I’m actually not sure she’s not stalking me.

    Pelosi is pretty much the definition of evil stupid, egocentric, incompetent, clownish, and evil.

    1. Yes! She is truly all of those things! Clownish should be in bold ALL CAPS though.

  30. Mr. Sullen, To the Systemic Problems you allude to:

    Regardless of party or background all Americans can agree on one thing. We have all come to realize that our political system is fundamentally broken and that moneyed interests now substantially control our government. Further, the dark science of lobbying has been perfected to such a point that it truly strains credulity to honestly describe our current system as a representative democracy. Corporate and special interests now hold the power to seamlessly subvert our governmental processes at will.

    At this point in our history, most Americans do fully realize that their elected representatives no longer work for them. Unfortunately they have substantially reacted to this DE-facto coup with a collective “what can we do” shoulder shrug. Tragically, this sense of defeatism, apathy and powerlessness among the people has been infectious. Americans know that something must be done about lobbying and money in the system….But just what and how?

    This should be our first pragmatic step!

    The American people should call on the “News Media” to do the following:

    Every time a politician is shown on camera or written about in print. Those who the politician represents should be recognized. This should naturally include the politician’s state, their district, and their party, but also their top three political contributors. Further, on any issue that a politician publicly takes a position on; contributions received on either side of said issue should be displayed as well. In addition, the information on political contributions should come from an independent non-partisan source such as OpenSecrets.org. Locations for this information should also be standardized to such an extent that it would come to be a publicly expected part of any news presentation.

    Using Senator Chris Dodd as an example of what this small simple change would look like…..As Senator Dodd was shown on camera at some point under his face would appear the following information:

    Senator Chris Dodd, Connecticut, Democrat, SAC Capital, Citigroup and United Technologies.

    *The Adoption Of This Open Disclosure Policy Could Also Benefit Participating News Organizations Substantially In A Myriad Of Ways:

    Considering the current populist climate, news organizations that adopt this open disclosure policy for politicians that they report on would most likely be substantially recognized by an appreciative public for their honesty and rewarded accordingly with higher ratings and reputational gain. Further, it is entirely conceivable that a pro-disclosure competition of sorts could develop among the news outlets to assume the populist mantle. MSNBC, CNN, Fox, ABC…who would want to ride the populist wave the most? Those organizations that fail to adopt this open disclosure policy would also be sending a strong “anti-populist” signal to the public. This could be greatly exploited by those wise news organizations that do openly disclose, as they could rightfully claim to be real providers of the kind of honest information that the majority of Americans crave…. And not just another token element of a corrupted system.

    Again, using Chris Dodd as an example, we would hopefully then see something like the following:

    Senator Chris Dodd, Connecticut, Democrat, SAC Capital, Citigroup and United Technologies.
    Top 3 Industry Contributors 2010: Securities and Investment: $4,117,624, Lawyers and Law Firms: $1,887,102 , Insurance: $1,450,506.

    The effect of the News Media adopting this open disclosure policy could be dramatic. Simply disseminating this critical information to a wider audience could have numerous beneficial systemic effects. Sunlight on the process would serve as a check on further excess and could illuminate potential corruption. Popular pressure would also provide a further check on both the politician and their contributors. Prompting a race to stay out of the top three publicly listed contributors would actually be the desired result. Most critically, sunlight on the process could also help to finally unite the disparate American people in a “common ground” effort to put aside their differences and work together for effective lobbying reform.

    “America” please call on the “News Media” to adopt this very small change that could change “Everything.”

    Senator Chris Dodd: From Opensecrets.org:

    http://www.opensecrets.org/pol…..cycle=2010

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