“Lobbyist” has become a dirty word in DC.
As have many words and practices – that are expressly protected by the Constitution.
Because DC is $4.5-trillion-per-year-in-spending and $1+-trillion-in-regulating – that is mostly antithetical to the Constitution.
Behold the relevant portion of the Constitution’s First Amendment:
“Congress shall make no law…abridging…the right of the people peaceably…to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
“(P)etition(ing) the government for a redress of grievances” – is lobbying.
But “petition(ing) the government for a redress of grievances” has become…not what our Founding Fathers envisioned.
Because our government has become…not what our Founding Fathers envisioned.
Our Founding Fathers didn’t bequeath us this $4.5-trillion-per-year monstrosity.
Our Founding Fathers bequeathed us a limited, delimited government. That would be – if currently in Constitutional compliance – far less than $1-trillion-per-year in size.
Thus our Founding Fathers didn’t envision $50,000-per-month men and women in $5,000 suits and $2,000 shoes – being “lobbyists.”
The Right to Petition was supposed to ensure an open and accountable government to We the People. Not to ensure an entire industry made up of a million or more people making orders-of-magnitude more than the vast majority of We the People.
The Lobby Industry has grown – only as a consequence of how grotesquely huge the government has grown. The government is now a monstrous Great White Shark. The Lobby Industry is an overgrown, bloated Remora.
The solution isn’t to assault our First Amendment rights. The solution is to shrink the government.
You want less lobbyists in expensive loafers? Give them less government to lobby.
That being said: Not all lobbyists are created equal – or are equally bad.
Just as we have always argued that not all trial lawyers are bad.
For every ambulance-chasing, fraudulent John Edwards – there’s a guy on the other side of the courtroom standing between Edwards and his clients’ wallet.
To paraphrase the late, great William F. Buckley:
“To say that (all lobbyists) engage in similar practices is the equivalent of saying that the man who pushes an old lady into the path of a hurtling bus is not to be distinguished from the man who pushes an old lady out of the path of a hurtling bus: on the grounds that, after all, in both cases someone is pushing old ladies around.”
It depends on for what you are lobbying.
To wit: The Left LOVES assaulting Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for lobbying Congress.
But AT&T (Market Cap: $280 billion), Verizon (Market Cap: $249 billion) and Comcast (Market Cap: $208 billion) – are TINY in comparison to the Big Tech companies…that are oft their lobbyist opponents.
Big Tech companies like Apple (Market Cap: $1.1 trillion), Google (Market Cap: $877 billion) and Amazon (Market Cap: $876 billion) – are MUCH huger than the ISPs. And their lobby budgets – are MUCH huger than the ISPs.
The Left says nothing about this MUCH huger Big Tech lobby money – because The Left gets very much of this MUCH huger Big Tech lobby money.
The Left gets very much of this MUCH huger Big Tech lobby money – because The Left wants what Big Tech wants: More government.
To wit: Network Neutrality.
Net Neutrality is a MASSIVE expansion of government. Which scratches The Left’s ideological itch. And is a HUGE cronyism gift to Big Tech:
“Big Tech consumes way more than half of all US bandwidth. Net Neutrality – mandates they not be charged any money for any of it. We the Little People would pay MUCH more for our service – to subsidize the likes of Apple, Amazon and Google.
“Net Neutrality is massive government regulation – to impose massive Big Tech cronyism.”
Via massive additional government.
Big Tech’s lobbyists lobby – for more government. More government imposed on their private sector competitors and rivals – which benefits them.
ISPs’ lobbyists lobby – to fend off Big Tech’s government cronyism. ISPs’ lobbyists lobby – to be left alone to engage in their private sector activities.
Both sides are pushing old ladies around.
But for VERY different reasons.
This first appeared in Red State.