Archive for July 18th, 2011

Orwell Watch #13, continued: “The American people”

Monday, July 18th, 2011
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Our man in Washington – lobbyist Jack Weldon of Patton Boggs

Yesterday, we pointed out the problems with politicians’ frequent invocation of  “the American people” – followed by a generalization that could not possibly hold true for 300 million individuals.

I suggested it was simply a device to marginalize opposition.  In other words, if “the American people” want such-and-so, and you do not, then you are cast into outer darkness.  It’s a way to pressure you back into the herd.

In true Orwellian spirit, a colleague passed on this news item, suggesting just how much the term “the American people” has been used dishonestly, to mask political indifference.

Clearly, someone else is concerned about the misuse of the term “the American people” – that is, the American people themselves.

They have hired a high-powered lobbyist to push their interests in Washington. Jack Weldon of the firm Patton Boggs has been retained to help advance the American people’s agenda in Congress.  Sources said Weldon will encourage lawmakers to see the American people as more than “just a low-priority fringe group.”  A veteran Washington insider admitted that Weldon’s new client is at a disadvantage because it lacks the money and power of other groups.

Known among Beltway insiders for his ability to sway public policy on behalf of massive corporations such as Johnson & Johnson, Monsanto, and AT&T, Weldon, 53, is expected to use his vast network of political connections to give his new client a voice in the legislative process. …

“Unlike R.J. Reynolds, Pfizer, or Bank of America, the U.S. populace lacks the access to public officials required to further its legislative goals,” a statement from the nation read in part. “Jack Weldon gives us that access.”

“His daily presence in the Capitol will ensure the American people finally get a seat at the table,” the statement continued. “And it will allow him to advance our message that everyone, including Americans, deserves to be represented in Washington.” …

“The goal is to make it seem politically advantageous for legislators to keep the American people in mind when making laws,” Weldon said. “Lawmakers are going to ask me, ‘Why should I care about the American people? What’s in it for me?’ And it will be up to me and my team to find some reason why they should consider putting poverty and medical care for children on the legislative docket.”

“To be honest,” Weldon added, “the American people have always been perceived as a little naïve when it comes to their representative government. But having me on their side sends a clear message that they’re finally serious and want to play ball.”

Read the rest at The Onion here.