Meet The New Boss

With Democrats back in the majority, K Street is now looking to hire Democrats. It's good to see some cash getting in the hands of folks who, even when bad, are distinctly less bad than the folks on the other team. Ever better, it's good to know that at least some of our newly unemployed GOP congressfolks and staffers probably won't be able to secure lucrative lobbying gigs as their reward for ruining the country.

On the other hand, you obviously don't want to see ties between big business and the Democrats ruin the party's substantive agenda. The election, obviously, was primarily a referendum on crappy Republican performance. Neverthless, the Dems do have a positive agenda, including a proposed reform to the Medicare prescription drug benefit that's a very good idea, but hardly something drug companies are enthusiastic about. In this case, progressive reform can't be beaten in the voting booth, but can it be beaten on K Street? As the article says "Even before Election Day, the pharmaceutical industry hired Democrats to bolster its public relations efforts, hoping to ease the blow if Republicans lost their majority and Democrats followed through on pledges to let the government negotiate prescription drug prices."

More broadly, as Kevin Drum argues here if there's ever going to be serious health care reform in this country, it's just going to be all-out war with insurance companies and that means would-be reformers will have to reconcile themselves to not getting insurance industry money.