Don’t Cry for Kyle, Mitch McConnell

February 14th, 2010

We’re emotional creatures, we human beings, especially at this time of year, and especially when those we care about go their separate ways. A case in point: McConnell Sobs On Senate Floor About Chief Of Staff Heading For K Street (Huffington Post 2/12/10). As noted in the HuffPost article, both Politico and CNN’s Political Ticker reported McConnell’s tearful speech on the Senate floor on Thursday, but didn’t put two and two together with an earlier story (McConnell’s Outgoing Chief May Launch Firm, Roll Call 2/02/12) reporting that staffer Keith Simmons is leaving McConnell to start up a lobbying firm with a group of other current and former Congressional aides (both Republicans and Dems). But don’t worry, Mitch: he’s not leaving you. Instead, think of this as the start of an even deeper (and more lucrative) relationship.

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, this video of McConnell breaking down while talking about Simmons — for the entire 18 minutes, crying most of the way through it — must be worth a couple million bucks.” — HuffPost 2/12/10

     It turns out Senate Minority Leader McConnell

Isn’t a heartless Republican devoid of good will.

He has emotions and he too can cry,

Just not for the average gal or guy.

     What chokes McConnell up is that his staffer Kyle

Will be leaving him in a short while.

Kyle is leaving to become a professional lobbyist,

While McConnell will remain a hobbyist.

     So McConnell cries for a  lobbyist, but not for the Nation

Which he more than anyone has plunged into partisan bifurcation.

He cries for a lobbyist but not the GOP-created economic void

In which suffer America’s poor and unemployed.

     He cries for a lobbyist but maintains his composure

When three million homeowners are faced with foreclosure.

He cries for a lobbyist but doesn’t care

About the tens of millions without healthcare.

     He cries for a lobbyist but shows no remorse

For the people whose jobs are to China and India outsourced.

He cries for a lobbyist but shows no chagrin

For the unholy mess we’re leaving our children.

     He cries for those whose views he reflects.

He cries for those whose interests he protects.

He cries for those who support his aspirations.

He cries for those who give him donations.

     He cries for those who use lies and deceit

To maintain their grasp on the government teat.

He cries for the powerful and rich

Who use that power and wealth themselves to further enrich.

     Lobbyists make me cry too,

But only because of the things that they do.

I don’t share Mitch’s apparent good feeling–

Lobbyists’ work is mostly legalized stealing.

     Kyle’s move seems to be a question of timing

And prospective political power pump-priming.

Lobbyists have to wait a year after leaving government, remember,

And the GOP hopes to win big in November.

     That win would make McConnell majority leader in early 2011,

And Kyle would less than 1 month before he could lobby again.

In the meantime, he can offer “strategic advice” to clients

Who benefit from GOP non-compliance.

      But for Kyle and other lobbyists, the video isn’t worth a mere couple of millions:

The lobbying industry generates billions.

The return that clients receive on that investment

Is over $220 to $1 (that’s money well spent).

     So don’t cry, Mitch: by next Valentine’s Day, Kyle will prove he still cares,

When he his continued affection with donations declares.

Could it be you don’t really feel as sorry as you avow?

After all, you’re not losing a staffer, you’re gaining a cash cow.

***

Additional info: The study referred to above (“Measuring Rates of Return for Lobbying Expenditures: An Empirical Analysis Under the American Jobs Creation Act” — click here to download or view the full study or here for excerpts) used tax data to calculate lobbying expenditures and benefits for a dividend repatriation tax break which corporations lobbied for and received as part of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (AJCA). The AJCA gave US multinationals a one-time opportunity to repatriate foreign earnings and pay taxes at a reduced rate of 15% of that income. The study calculated $283 million lobbying costs, $62 billion in benefits, and a 22,000% return on investment (a $220:1 payback). Please note that this is a subset of corporations lobbying for and receiving benefits for a single policy issue in a single year. The study also reported that total lobbying firms spent over $5 billion on lobbying in the 2003-04 election cycle (citing Center for Public Integrity data). Applying the study’s rate of return to that figure (probably an under-estimate, since the tax break in the study was a one-year one-time event, while most lobbying benefits last longer) yields total benefits of those investments of over one trillion dollars for investments made 2003-04 only. Other studies (including the “price list” which ex-Congressman Randy Cunningham (R-CA) maintained for his bribery business, are consistent with the magnitude of this cost-benefit ratio.

Here’s McConnell’s soulful soliloquy on the Senate floor.

Here’s another soulful soliloquy and the titular inspiration for this post, along with my proposed new lyrics below (my apologies to Andrew Lloyd Webber). If anyone wants try re-recording it, email the Youtube link or MP3 to Newsericks@gmail.com and I’ll link to it. For those who prefer the original (as I’m guessing most will), here are the Madonna single, the original London cast full musical, the Andrew Lloyd Webber 25 Year Anniversary Salute, and the DVD in our Amazon store, or check out the free downloads the Real Superpass trial offer.

Here’s another applicable song. Check out in our Amazon store, or click on the Real Superpass trial offer icon below to download it for free.

“Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”

It won’t be easy, you’ll think it strange

When I try to explain how I feel

That I still need your love after all that I’ve done

You won’t believe me

All you will see is a girl you once knew

Although she’s dressed up to the nines

At sixes and sevens with you

I had to let it happen, I had to change

Couldn’t stay all my life down at heel

Looking out of the window, staying out of the sun

So I chose freedom

Running around, trying everything new

But nothing impressed me at all

I never expected it to

[Chorus:]

Don’t cry for me Argentina

The truth is I never left you

All through my wild days

My mad existence

I kept my promise

Don’t keep your distance

And as for fortune, and as for fame

I never invited them in

Though it seemed to the world they were all I desired

They are illusions

They are not the solutions they promised to be

The answer was here all the time

I love you and hope you love me

[Chorus]

Have I said too much?

There’s nothing more I can think of to say to you.

But all you have to do is look at me to know

That every word is true

Mitch McConnell version

It won’t be easy, you’ll think it strange

When I try to explain how I feel

That I still need your help after all that you’ve done

I wish you wouldn’t leave me

Everything I ever asked you to do

You did it so very well

Even though you had every excuse not to

I have to let it happen, I have to change

You couldn’t stay all your life at my heel

Looking out of your window, staying out of the sun

So it’s time to cash in

Working on K Street, calling in favors

You always helped me before

Now I expect you’ll help me more.

[Chorus (entire GOP)]

Don’t cry for Kyle, Mitch McConnell

The truth is he’ll never leave you

All through our laws

Our legislation

We work for lobbyists

Not the whole Nation.

And as for fortune, and as for fame

You were never in it for yourself

You never put your interests ahead of mine

There are exclusions

For one year you must promise not to lobby me

But then we’ll work together all the time

I’ll help you and hope you’ll help me

[Chorus]

Have I said too much?

There’s nothing more I can think of to say to you.

But all you have to do is look at me to know

That every word is true

PS: I don’t mean to be cruel, suggest that Kyle Simmons isn’t a great and/or talented guy, or that Mitch McConnell shouldn’t pay tribute to him. None of those things are the issue. The issue to me is that lobbyists and the special interests they represent play an undue role in our political system, to the detriment of the American public. That’s the problem.

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