The Imperial Capital

Here’s a fascinating look at how the imperial ruling class lives. We like to think we vote for our representatives and they toil away in Washington. In reality, a semi-permanent ruling class runs the country. It is why a neocon like Victoria Nuland can work for a left-wing Democrat administration. Whatever Obama thinks about foreign affairs, no one important gives a crap. His opinion does not matter as he is not in charge of foreign policy. The same is true across the board.

“I see lobbying,” Tony Podesta has said, “as getting information in the hands of people who are making decisions so they can make more informed decisions.” Last week the information Tony Podesta was giving was the divorce complaint he had filed in D.C. Court against his wife Heather. The hands receiving that information belonged to a gossip columnist for the Washington Post, who made the “informed decision” to report on it. Later in the day Heather, who is also a lobbyist, informed the Post the text of her counter-suit. It published a follow-up.

The documents, which you can read below, did not become available to the rest of us until yesterday. They tell stories not only of a May-December romance gone sour, but of how obscene wealth can be amassed through rent-seeking and influence-peddling in Washington D.C., and of the hoary means by which the princelings of the capital and their consorts maintain and grow that wealth. They tell stories not only of an ugly divorce, but of the power of lobbying, of how one family maneuvered to the center of the nation’s dominant political party, of the transactional relationships, gargantuan self-regard, and empty posturing that insulates, asbestos-like, the D.C. bubble.

That the broken couple now uses the tools of their trade—the phone-call to a friend, the selective leaking of documents, the hiring of attorneys, the launch of a public-relations campaign—against one another is more than ironic. It is fitting. Tony and Heather Podesta reached the pinnacle of wealth and influence in Barack Obama’s Washington. Now they, like he, are in eclipse.

The Founders had a pretty good understanding of the bandits, highwaymen, con-men, the clever fraction and the parasites present in every human population. They also understood how easily the smart and successful could tip into corruption. Their project was designed to make it tough for these elements to gain power. They may have imagined a tribe of Podestas, but they never imagined a class of coat holders and fixers, who existed outside the power of the king. The next Constitution, if there is one, will have to address this type of vermin that runs the Imperial Capital.

Term limits sounds good, but it addresses a very small part of the problem. The Podesta clan does not make it’s money from the elected officials. No, they make their money by knowing all of the staffers, the lobbyists and most important, the permanent bureaucracy that implements and enforces Federal law. The way to address this is to term limit government employment. You get ten years to collect a government check. After that, you rejoin the dreaded private sector. T

The way the parasite class will attempt to get around this is outsourcing. Instead of having HUD staffed with thousands of people, a contractor like Blackwater will spring up that does all of the functions, but avoids the limit on government service. The term limit, therefore, would have to be extended to government contractors. If Delloite, for example, cannot get along without government work, maybe they need to go away. This would require registering government contractors and publicizing employee lists.

2 thoughts on “The Imperial Capital

  1. After almost 30 years in the military-industrial complex I think that the 10 years and out is not a bad idea, but for quite a while now I’ve thought that no company should win a government contract (at any level of government) if more than 20% of their income came from such contracts.

  2. The ten year plan makes sense if only because spending more than five or ten years in one organization leads to burn out. Rotation is good – I would love a couple of years of being a mailman – imagine how many podcasts I could listen to while I worked.

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