DeLays langer Schatten in der Lobby-Hauptstadt

--- Die Washington Post bringt eine Art Nachruf auf den einstigen republikanischen Mehrheitsführer im US-Abgeordnetenhaus, Tom DeLay, der sich vor Gericht verantworten muss. Der Schwerpunkt liegt auf der Veränderung der Lobby-Kultur und des politischen Stils in Washington:
Proteges of the wounded Texan still hold virtually every position of influence in the House, including the office of speaker. DeLay's former staff members are securely in the lobbying offices for many of the largest corporations and business advocacy groups. But even more than people, DeLay's lasting influence is an ethos. He stood for a view of Washington as a battlefield on which two sides struggle relentlessly, moderates and voices of compromise are pushed to the margins, and the winners presume they have earned the right to punish dissenters and reward their own side with financial and policy favors. His take-no-prisoners style of fundraising -- in which the classic unstated bargain of access for contributions is made explicitly and without apology -- has been adopted by both parties in Congress, according to lawmakers, lobbyists and congressional scholars. Democrats, likewise, increasingly are trying to emulate DeLay-perfected methods for enforcing caucus discipline -- rewarding lawmakers who follow the dictums of party leaders and seeking retribution against those who do not. Most of all, DeLay stood for a blurring of the line between lawmakers and lobbyists so that lobbyists are now considered partners of politicians and not merely pleaders -- especially if they once worked for Republicans on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers-turned-corporate lobbyists such as Bill Paxon (R-N.Y.) and aides such as Ed Buckham, DeLay's former chief of staff, remain among the most influential figures on Capitol Hill -- often more involved than lawmakers in writing policy and plotting political strategy. For a vivid sign of how what was once considered controversial has gone mainstream, consider the K Street Project. That was the name for a DeLay-inspired campaign -- for which he was chastised by the House ethics committee -- to demand that lobbying firms seeking access hire loyal Republicans. Rather than going underground, the project has gone unabashedly public, with a Web site providing news about the latest lobbying vacancies.
Die aktuellen Schwierigkeiten der Republikanern kann die ganze Lobby-Macht-Maschinerie aber nicht übertünchen: Newsweek titelt diese Woche: "Power Outage" bei der "Grand Old Party", was linke US-Blogger natürlich gern sehen. Das Washingtoner Geklüngel geht aber weiter: Bush hat nun, wo er John Roberts ganz nach oben beim US Supreme Court verfrachtet hat, gleich mit Harriet Miers eine weitere alte Bekannte, die zudem noch gar nicht als Richterin tätig war, für den weiteren offenen Platz im Obersten US-Gericht nominiert.

Und sonst: Die US-Generalität gibt sich optimistisch (realitätsfern?), was den Endsieg im Irak anbelangt: Generals Are Upbeat on Iraq. Tone on TV Is Brighter Than Before Congress.

Die Köpfe der Selbstmordattentäter: Bali's police chief, I Made Pastika, displayed pictures of the heads of the three suspected suicide bombers at a news conference. ... Pastika also showed an amateur video obtained by police that recorded one bomber, wearing a black shirt, walking into the Raja restaurant in Kuta Square, a popular shopping and dining spot. Seconds later, at 7:45 p.m., the man was obscured by a flash of light and an explosion. Wer unbedingt Bilder braucht, wird bei Ogrish.com fündig.

Terror-Propaganda: Al Qaeda sucht Online-Redakteure. Auf einer Website hat das Terrornetzwerk Al Qaeda mehrere Stellenanzeigen veröffentlicht. Gesucht werden Spezialisten für neue Medien. Update: Mehr zum Thema inzwischen auch in Telepolis.

Antrittsrede vom neuen US-Botschafter William Timken aus der vergangenen Woche: Pflichtbewusstsein & Verantwortung.

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