In the political bloggysphere, there’s been some discussion about former Congressman and Two Million Dollar Man Billy Tauzin losing his job as the top lobbyist for Big Pharma. I follow this stuff a lot more than most–my observation that much of what our great congressional solons do is geared towards their retirements, to me, seems so obvious that I’m surprised it received some minor circulation. But Tauzin’s degeneracy is stunning (italics mine):
So in 2003 Mr. Tauzin, then chairman of the powerful energy and commerce committee, made a deal. Though still on a modest Congressional salary, he paid more than $1 million for a 1,500-acre ranch there. And he invited a dozen friends — mostly executives and lobbyists with interests before his committee — to cover its mortgage by paying him dues as members of a new hunting club. It did business as Cajun Creek L.L.C., based in the Baton Rouge office of a lobbyist who was a member.
Now, seven years later, Mr. Tauzin’s friends say, it is to his Texas ranch that Mr. Tauzin, 66, will retreat, to contemplate the apparent collapse of the grandest in a career of fearless deals…
I’m not naive about these things–I expect a little ‘honest graft’, even if I don’t approve of it. But to be so brazen about it, and, more importantly, for it to be fundamentally opposed to the basic welfare of one’s constituents highlights just how little electoral outcomes matter to most congresscritters. When I read ‘progressive’ bloggers who keep wondering why Democrats keep pursuing poor electoral strategies, I wonder why they don’t realize that many congressmen are not guided by elections, but by avarice.