Beltway Confidential

Want to find three GOPers to criticize Tea Partiers? Call K Street

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Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney,Newt Gingrich,Republican Party,Tea Party,Washington,Lobbying

Republicans weren't as intransigent back in the 1995 government shutdown, this CBS News article argues. Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich were more solution-oriented, the piece suggests.

To make this point, the reporter spoke with former Republican congressmen Tom Davis and Bob Walker, who explain how the GOP back then was more reasonable.

Also, the article quotes former GOP leadership aide John Feehery, a critic of current GOP tactics.

All three Republicans interviewed for this piece, and both cited as past compromisers have something in common: K Street. Dole, Walker, Davis, and Feehery are registered lobbyists, as the links on their names above shows. Gingrich has served as an unregistered lobbyist for the likes of Freddie Mac, the drug industry, and ethanol companies.

Why does this matter?

1) These guys lobby to get government money for their clients. Any congressional fight that cuts off the federal spigots hurts their clients. This doesn't disqualify their arguments, but (a) it should be considered when reading their arguments, and (b) it probably should be noted.

2) The GOP of the past largely ran like this: (a) promise the base undeliverable conservative things; (b) don't really fight for those things, but instead work with K Street for nice compromises that make all the insiders happy; (c) cash out!

This form of governing, I argue, helped create the crisis of authority which has made possible the current mess.

my new column argues that the Tea Party has shaken things up so much by providing a second source of money besides K Street.

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