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Lobbyists Has Become The New Buzzword

  1. Oct 4, 2008 #1
    "Lobbyists" Has Become The New Buzzword

    I was listening to CNN's election coverage this afternoon with my eyes closed, and it has come to the point where the dramatization of the election is unbearable. I will be so glad when this election is over with because the road to it is full of nonsense.

    I've noticed something grossly similar between Obama and Mccain's speeches. Both like to talk about lobbyists an awful lot. In fact, even if you have a layman discussion of politics nowadays, it all comes down to "lobbyists." I'm afraid "lobbyists" has become the new buzzword for intellectual morons who can't grasp the real issues that face us. Saying it's all on the lobbyists is simplistic at best. In fact, as a personal example, when watching the coverage of the stock market crash earlier this week with my father, he turned into a conspiracy nutjob. He overgeneralized politicans, and ultimately blamed the lobbyists. It is rather uninviting for discussion when all people can resort to is talking about the lobbyists.

    So just like it has become hip since 2003 to hate on Bush for merely showing his face on television, it has become hip to blame every problem on the lobbyists. I'm not saying lobbyists are blameless in this whole ordeal, but to pin it all on that is misplacing the context.

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 4, 2008 #2
    Re: "Lobbyists" Has Become The New Buzzword

    The idea that a corporation would pay someone to be a full time suck-up to someone in Washington in order to influence their political actions in favor of said corporation is dubious.

    Every citizen has the power and right to influence their Representatives and Senators, either by phone call, personal meeting, letter, email, etc.

    If enough people share the same opinion on a matter with said Congressperson and s/he agrees with it, then the Congressperson can try pass laws with regards to that opinion.

    In this case you have a "majority rules" type of thing. However, when it's a lobbyist hanging out with a Congressperson (CP), you have the CP being disproportionately influenced on the opinions of a handful of people (i.e. the corporation who sent the lobbyist).

    That is very wrong. If the general population wants X Bill passed because it would help corporations, they can say so. If they think it's wrong, they can say so. But in this case it's not the general population but a small minority using their wealth and power to influence the government to help them, essentially giving the finger to the common person. That's not what the system was designed for, was it?
  4. Oct 4, 2008 #3
    Re: "Lobbyists" Has Become The New Buzzword

    The amount lobbyists spend in elections is astronomical. I believe elections are in the billions of dollars now. Not only does their money buy them the ears of our "representatives," these lobbyists also often have a hand in doing the "research" for the congressmen, thus influencing how they write bills. Congressmen can't read everything, so a lot of their work is outsourced to people and it has a lobbyist influence.

    Money plays a big role as well, rather than popular opinion, because obviously big corporations have more money than even millions of people. The statistics bear that out.

    So, our free-market lobbyist system is indeed a problem - it's an example of "elite democracy" where those with money and influence have the say - and campaign finance reform is definitely needed.
  5. Oct 4, 2008 #4
    Re: "Lobbyists" Has Become The New Buzzword

    The funny thing is that we now have another buzzword that is a magical solution to all of our problems: bipartisanship.

    That's right, all it takes is for a Dem and a GOP to have lunch together and POOF all our problems are fixed.

    You know, because it's not like a Dem and GOP can have a bad idea together or anything.
  6. Oct 5, 2008 #5
    Re: "Lobbyists" Has Become The New Buzzword

    It's like they think if they compromise then that suddenly makes it a more sound policy than their individual policies. I'm sick of these feel good, pseudoobjective buzzwords. It's not producing any real change.
  7. Oct 5, 2008 #6
    Re: "Lobbyists" Has Become The New Buzzword

    ... "real change" is another one.
  8. Oct 5, 2008 #7
    Re: "Lobbyists" Has Become The New Buzzword

    Yeah, I noticed that suddenly all politicians are using it.

    I mean, look at this:

    qCL6uiiGRKE[/youtube] WTF is that BS? He didn't explain [I]anything[/I]!
  9. Oct 5, 2008 #8
    Re: "Lobbyists" Has Become The New Buzzword

    We have a new puppy...doesn't yet know it's own name.

    Using baby talk...I keep repeating the same things over and over and over.

    *Good girl *NO...don't bite *Sit...GOOD GIRL *Let's go beepers *...outside...GOOD GIRL *Come on...let's go...GOOD GIRL

    *Ohh...Good Girl...you go sleepers...good girl

    If it works...it works...real change, tax cuts, free education, universal health care, bring the troops home, alternative energy, affordable housing, global warming, mainstreet...that's what they say to us.

    Don't be angry with them...it's just a marketing strategy. Candidates are packaged and marketed just like any other item...

    The 4 P's:
    PRODUCT (person/platform/party), PRICE (tax/benefits), PLACE (region/state/blue vs white collar/young/old/race/income/own or rent) and PROMOTION (specific messages targeting from small groups (most focused) to nationwide (shotgun vanilla)).

    Every politician makes promises around basically the full suite of products/services/programs. They treat us like the puppy that doesn't yet know it's name.

    American voters are a diverse group...(15, 16 & 17 are influenced early) 18 to 118? Advertising targets our hot buttons and the lowest common denominator. The message might not change much over the course of the election, just emphasize different points at different stages.

    Like all sales...it's a numbers game...and the sales pitch and the rebuttals were defined long ago. If we hear it enough times...we might accept it as true.

    When we drive around looking for gas (did you notice oil companies quit advertising lately...don't need to...we're ALL buying based strictly on price now)...well the election is like buying gas...we don't like our choices...but we have to make one...hopefully next time we'll get a better deal.
  10. Oct 5, 2008 #9
    Re: "Lobbyists" Has Become The New Buzzword

    The thing is we'll only get a better deal if we are lucky enough for the Great Political Gods to grant us better choices. There is no way for us to force them to give us better choices or stop assuming we are all idiots. I think that if politicians were punished for doing a bad job instead of just waiving good-bye and doing something else when their terms ended, people would be more careful about what they want to do in office.

    This similarly extends to the Free Market (TM) in general. It only works if consumers have any power over the market and are actually able to effect supply and demand. It makes sense that if a new fancy iPod costs too much, nobody will buy it, and the price will drop until people can afford it again. Or, people will buy a different product that is either as good but cheaper or the same price but better.

    But you can't do that with gasoline, food, and medication. People NEED to eat. That's why food prices can uniformly go up and people will still buy food from the shop because of proximity. If you live in a city where there is store around every corner, that goes down because there is more competition. But if you're like me and live a 10 minute drive away from Safeway, you can't be picky, because the further you drive, the more gas you spend and the more time you waste.

    The Free Market only works with products consumers don't have to buy at all and can survive without. Once you factor in the need to buy something, everything falls apart and price fixing is easy.

    Anyway, back to politics, same thing happens here. No way for us to control what kind of politicians we get to pick from and we can't simply boycott the system because it will go on anyway. We are F'ed.
  11. Oct 5, 2008 #10
    Re: "Lobbyists" Has Become The New Buzzword

    Yes and No.

    I was brow beaten and chastised earlier this week (on a different thread) because I said Obama was fast tracked...that he had help to move so fast to the top of the political pile.

    Everyone made convincing cases that I was wrong and that Obama has been able to come out of nowhere and run a successful grass roots campaign without any fat cats pulling strings or (the best analysis I heard) standing in the way.

    So HEY...if Obama can do it with nothing and from nothing...then let's all start looking for his successor...let's change the rules and find some qualified candidates...out there in the small business world or (I'm from Ohio) HOW ABOUT JIM TRESSEL...coach at Ohio State? He's pretty smart, a good negotiator...relates well to young people...disciplined and respectful...not political and a throw back to the 50"s (check out his sweaters).

    I think I'll rally some support...see what happens? I BELIEVE! LOL
  12. Oct 6, 2008 #11
    Re: "Lobbyists" Has Become The New Buzzword

    Not really. There's faux change and real change. Faux change is backwards thinking, but it poses itself as change, when really its regression. Real change is eccentric and daring. It learns from history, and tries out ideas that prevents history from repeating itself.

    All I've seen in this election is a promise for faux change.
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