Peter Schweizer's new book, "Throw Them All Out," reveals this permanent political class in all its arrogant glory. (Full disclosure: Mr. Schweizer is employed by my political action committee as a foreign-policy adviser.)
Doesn't this suggest that Schweizer is the true author here, and Palin is the byline for strategic reasons?
It doesn't really matter who wrote it - many politicians don't write their own stuff. Whats important is that herein Palin endorses a bold and, at first glance, genuine path toward addressing corruption within our political system. Suddenly her claims of being a maverick have some credibility. She actually appears to be standing for something important instead of merely claiming to have done so in the past.
(I found it interesting that every one of the 15 reviews gives the book five stars.)
I noticed that one of those positive reviews was posted by Marc Thiessen, the former Bush administration speech writer who a year ago was calling for cyberwarfare over wikileaks.
The presence of Thiessen increases the suspicion that this book is to become official party dogma and this might even be a calculated election season move, as the Wikileaks war mongering was transparently coordinated to make Leiberman's inappropriate actions appear moderate in comparison.
Of course, whether or not the litany of solutions proposed here address the right problem is an important one. If you found yourself having whipped up a populist movement and that movement wanted to see action taken to solve a problem that you didn't want to solve, providing a credible sounding solution that addresses the wrong problem might be just exactly the sort of strategy you'd play, and it would certainly be good for kicking the can down the road for a few years.
I haven't read Schweizer's book yet, nor Lessig's, but the later is on my short list. I'm aware from some of Lessig's presentations that studies have shown that campaign finance has absolutely no influence on Congress. I haven't read these studies. I therefore approach the matter with an open but skeptical mind. Perhaps these studies are asking the wrong questions. There is clearly a problem. If you haven't figured out where it is you aren't looking carefully enough.
I'm skeptical of Lessig's proposed solutions because I figure the "coalition of both traditional and non-traditional allies" exist entirely outside of the direct campaign finance world and tinkering with that world won't make a lick of difference. The Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford Memo makes it clear - if you don't do what these rich people want, they'll go after you. They'll dig up dirt and they'll nail you to the wall with it. They don't have to directly donate money to your opponent in order to do that.
The people who get the support of the parties needed to get elected and avoid getting discredited by "the coalition of both traditional and non-traditional allies" are the people who do what the people with the money want them to do.
It would not be surprising to me if there were both carrots and sticks. They have to motivate people to do this somehow, although many might be suckered in by a naive interest in serving the people and find themselves trapped. Once you get good at doing a thing, and well compensated, abandoning it for an entirely different profession is not always the path of least resistance in life.
In the end, I find the idea that Congress isn't barred from insider trading a bit hard to swallow. If Schweizer has identified any real problems, and they get fixed, that is good enough for a days work I think.
RE: Sarah Palin: How Congress Occupied Wall Street - WSJ.com