For $850,000 a lobbying group appears to be willing to conduct all sorts of “opposition research”, specifically (among other things):
Note that nowhere in that memo are the ideas that OWS espouses discussed. Just the people, as much dirt as they are able to dig up, and of course the focus is on how to deliver that dirt for the best possible “response.”
If you’re wondering why nobody is willing to get involved in politics that you’d actually like to elect, this might have something to do with it. This sort of “research” and “deliverable” is the type of poison that ruins any hope of a debate on the actual issues before the nation. That firms are able to run this sort of smear tactic may be a matter of the First Amendment, but that this kind of organization is able to exist on these sorts of fees and that clients buy this type of “service” is an outrage.
The firm’s web site touts that “they know everyone in town” and says:
With more than a century of combined experience working with 16 Congresses and seven Administrations, Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford stands out as a recognized leader in issue advocacy. Our team combines sophisticated high-level strategic thinking with robust ground-level relationships established over decades with key members of Congress and their staff, Administration officials, opinion makers, think tanks, trade associations, issue coalitions, the media, and political operatives.
Right. And of course the method of “advocacy”, when facing an issue you’d rather not take on in substance, is to trash the other side personally with as much dirt as you can dig up, presented “artfully” to make it appear as poorly as you possibly can.
This is nothing new or surprising, really. The existence of this memo was discussed by MSNBC, so we can assume it’s authentic despite the “odd” date on it; they appear to have confirmed that it actually exists and was circulated.
We often lament the poor quality of our politicians and look for better. So long as this sort of process is the “meat and potatoes” of issue advocacy in the United States, you’re not going to get better — you’re going to get the worst sort of animal in Congress and elsewhere, because nobody in their right mind is willing to put up with this crap.
I have often mused that you’d have to be outright nuts to be willing to run for President of The United States. Exposing yourself to near-literal rectal exams from this type of “opposition research” for a literal period of years means that only an egomaniac who doesn’t give a damn about the country and is an outright narcissist drunk on the promise of personal aggrandizement and power would be willing to put up with that.
Well, here we are and this is what we got.