There's now a slightly lower percentage than the six lobbyists per lawmaker working on health care reform, as Dick Armey has to take his ball and go home. This is an epic whine:
Dick Armey, the former House Majority Leader, is leaving his job with top Washington lobbying firm DLA Piper, citing negative attention that the firm is receiving thanks to the role of Armey's corporate-backed outfit, FreedomWorks, in turning out protesters to shut down town hall meetings on health care.
It is painful and frustrating to see a good, decent, able and effective partnership of honorable men and women and their clients attacked for things in which they are not involved simply because of their association with me. One would expect a higher degree of competence and professionalism from members of the media than spurious attacks on innocent bystanders.
Let me be perfectly clear about DLA Piper. It is a fine firm with good, competent people. It has been my privilege to be associated with them, and I will miss them. I am leaving the firm with regret but also with anticipation of being more fully engaged in the nation's struggle and without having attacks on me being directed at others.
It is imperative for me, within the context of my life's work in the defense of personal liberty against the encroachments of big government, to give my undivided attention to the work we do at FreedomWorks. In short, the threat to personal liberty in America is so serious and imminent at this time that it requires the full commitment of my efforts. While I consider it a personal sacrifice to leave DLA Piper, it is a sacrifice I must make in light of the important work I am committed to at FreedomWorks.
Poor, poor Dick Armey. His job as a corporate lobbyist was getting all mixed up with his work to turn people against health care reform and toward a position backed by corporate interests! I can't see how anyone would possibly make the connection.
Now that the former House majority leader and lobbyist has resigned, I'm sure people will see FreedomWorks for what it is - a noble, completely organic upspring coming from the depths of the grassroots to impact the corridors of power at the highest levels. Given that Armey is now such an outsider, it's amazing he was even invited on Meet The Press to lie about Moveon.org and his role in the extremism of town hall meetings. Must be all that amazing grassroots organizing.
And finally, now that it's obvious that Armey said things he knows are untrue on national television, any chance he'll be barred from returning? Will bookers conclude that Armey shouldn't be invited onto television news programs, since he's obviously willing to lie to the public? No, that's not how the game is played, which is why hacks like Armey feel comfortable lying in the first place -- there are no consequences.
Why does Steve Benen hate ordinary Americans like Dick Armey having a voice in the public debate? I mean, they have no other resources.