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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Ray Davies On Lobbying Reform

Today I spent some time drafting a New Dem Dispatch for the DLC providing some plenary thoughts on lobbying reform, and the broader issues Democrats need to raise to deal with the broader culture of corruption in Washington.And the whole time I was writing this piece, entitled “Money Should Not Talk,” some odd wrinkle in my brain was playing an ancient song by the Kinks, from the rock opera Preservation (Ray Davies’ meditation on the idea that Britain’s capitalists and socialists were simply a reincarnation of the Cavaliers and Puritans):Money can’t breathe and money can’t seeBut when I pull out a fiver people listen to meMoney can’t run and money can’t walkBut when I write out a cheque I swear to God I hear money talkMoney talks and we’re the living proofThere ain’t no limit to what money can doMoney talks you out of your self-respectThe more you crave it, the cheaper you getEvery saga needs a theme song, and I nominate this one for the Abramoff/Scanlon/Reed/Norquist affair. Maybe some progressive radio station could play it during the national news.P.S.– A few years ago, I was having a beer with an intense young Blairite press operative from the British Labour Party, and offered the observation that Ray Davies was the real progenitor of The Third Way. He sort of examined my face in a clinical way, and then struck up a conversation with the first total stranger he could engage.

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