BY MICHAEL HERSON
February 7, 2011
Near the end of his State of the Union address last month, President Barack Obama asked Congress to post online all of their meetings with lobbyists. Those in the room say the sighs were audible. It’s an oldie but a goodie. When this president starts to feel the pressure, he falls back on his old adage of when the going gets tough, the tough get going … after lobbyists.
It’s unclear what problem he is actually trying to solve with this constant and incessant rhetoric. Will posting these meetings online and limiting lobbyists’ access reduce the deficit or eliminate the national debt? Will it result in a decrease in unemployment or produce an end to the war in Afghanistan? Or will it solve the problem of climate change and ensure that no child in this country goes to bed hungry at night?
What’s even more astounding is that, as the president knows, not only is his anti-lobbyist crusade not solving those problems, it has actually created new ones.