John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


On Lobbying

Posted on December 9, 2009

On Lobbying

“Congress shall make no law respected an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Hmmm, there it is.  The First Amendment of the Constitution.  They call it the Bill of Rights.  Supposedly, it is a pretty big deal.  Now, how do we get around it?

Well, first, let’s create a special class of people.  Let’s call them lobbyists.  These are the ones that are especially good at petitioning the government.  They know how the system works.  They know the rules.  They know the game.

Let’s make it harder for that special class of people to petition their government.  Let’s make them document how they get paid.  Let’s make them document to whom they give their campaign contributions to.  Let’s try to humiliate them publicly.

Let’s make them the bad people.  I don’t care for whom they lobby for.  It can be all the old grandmothers of America.  It can be the blind and the sick or the rich and the healthy.  They must be demonized.  They must be stopped.  They have too much power over what we do.  We cannot resist them, so we must destroy them.

And then let’s try to slowly but surely expand the definition of “lobbyist”.  Let’s gradually increase the numbers so that nobody will notice.  Let’s try to include the public relations folks, and the people out in the country who do the “grass-roots.”  Pretty soon, we can include the bloggers and web-people.

And then finally, we can get the media.  That is why we really need to do anyway.  Get those media people to stop telling us how we should do our job.  The nerve of them.

And that, my friends, is how we finally dispense with that pesky little thing called the First Amendment.  We start with the lobbyists, we build out until we get the public relations hacks, and pretty soon, we will be in the driver’s seat.

We are the Congress.  How dare the people tells us how we should do our job!