A helicopter with a pilot and a single passenger was flying around above Seattle when a malfunction disabled all of the aircraft’s navigation and communications equipment. Due to the darkness and haze, the pilot could not determine the helicopter’s position and course to get back to the airport. The pilot saw a tall building with lights on and flew toward it, the pilot had the passenger draw a handwritten sign reading “WHERE AM I?” and hold it up for the building’s occupants to see. People in the building quickly responded to the aircraft, drew a large sign, and held it in a building window. Their sign said “YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER.” The pilot smiled, waved, looked at his map, determined the course to steer to SEATAC airport, and landed safely. After they were on the ground, the passenger asked the pilot how the “YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER” sign helped determine their position. The pilot responded “I knew that had to be the Microsoft support building, they gave me a technically correct but entirely useless answer.” That story reminds me about the DNC’s recent declaration that they will no longer accept money from lobbyists, although technically correct, it is useless and designed to fool the voting public:
I see that over at the DNC’s blog, they have a post up entitled “Democratic Party Will No Longer Accept Washington Lobbyist Donations.” Funny thing is, that’s not actually true—and if the DNC bloggers did even a tiny bit of research and/or applied some common sense to their thinking, they’d have known that before they posted something with a title as fallacious as that. The DNC isn’t the entire Democratic Party, or even the only national-level Democratic organization, after all. There are also the DSCC and the DCCC—organizations which, funnily enough, don’t seem at all interested in rejecting lobbyist or PAC money this cycle. From the Chicago Tribune yesterday:
The Obama campaign confirms that two other arms of the national party – the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee – will continue to accept lobby and PAC money this election.
And here’s Jackie Kucinich writing in The Hill, also yesterday:
Unlike the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), Democratic congressional committees will continue to take money from lobbyists.
And Politico’s Ryan Grim, again from yesterday:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will not follow Barack Obama’s lead when it comes to accepting campaign contributions from registered lobbyists, DCCC spokesman Doug Thornell says. […] DSCC spokesman Matt Miller e-mails to say that the committee will continue accepting lobbyist contributions.
Oops. It seems that the DNC’s crack team of bloggers reads neither two top sources for news relating to goings-on in Washington, DC (where their employer is of course headquartered) nor one of the hometown newspapers of the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee, Barack Obama—either that or they don’t think too much about what headlines they throw up at their site. That’s kind of like how the DNC and Barack Obama may not quite have thought through the application of their “no lobbyists” rule, more generally. As today’s Washington Times notes, Obama’s lobbyist decree to the DNC will have zero effect on past contributions from lobbyists, or future contributions from statehouse lobbyists; and as USA Today points out, it doesn’t seem that it will prevent lobbyists from filling key positions in the DNC leadership like, say, the role of Vice Chairman. Presumably this is all evidence of deep, meaningful “change you can believe in,” though.