The Establishmentarian

THE ESTABLISHMENTARIAN….Steny Hoyer is the Democratic whip in the House of Representatives, and this November he’s going to be a winner no matter what happens. If Democrats win control of the House in the midterm elections, it means Nancy Pelosi moves up to Speaker and Hoyer moves up to Majority Leader. If Dems fail to win control, it most likely means that Pelosi gets tossed out by her colleagues and Hoyer takes over her position as Minority Leader.

So who is Steny Hoyer, and what can we expect from him? Zack Roth, at the end of a long profile in the November Monthly, comes away unimpressed:

The spate of recent lobbying scandals revealed a system in which corporate interests enjoy an unprecedented degree of control over the legislative process. Indeed, the influence of corporate money on legislation is the single biggest obstacle to achieving a broad array of progressive policy goals?from universal health care, to a fairer tax code, to curbing global warming.

That?s why Democrats need leaders who are willing to play aggressively by the current rules of the game ? but who seek to change those rules once in power. The enthusiasm with which Hoyer has raised money from K Street, his resistance to serious lobbying reform, and his general comfort with the Washington establishment all imply a politician with little interest in systemic change. Indeed, Hoyer?s contention that the problem lies not with lobbying practices as a whole, but rather with individual corrupt members of Congress, suggests he genuinely sees little need for such change.

The title of the article is “The Establishmentarian,” which pretty much sets the tone for the whole piece. It’s well worth a read.