Really, it’s not so different from how one got rich in Obama’s Washington. The problem is government is too powerful. The presidency is too powerful. The bureaucracy is too powerful. There is too much to lobby FOR.
The government in this country is not supposed to be like this. We are supposed to have a limited government but too many over many generations (both Left and Right) have followed the siren song of crony capitalism.
The attached piece from the New York Times, though structured as an extended dis of Trumpland does not come off that way. But it quite nicely while illustrates the ugly hustle that is K Street. If one has any experience with this part of Washington, the story told below will not strike one as unfamiliar. Backwater politico becomes bigshot politico becomes bigshot lobbyist. It’s the story of the hinterlander cum Washingtonian. Classic Washington DC stuff.
But hey, someone has to go to those Georgetown parties.
(From The New York Times)
Stryk, who owned a lobbying firm so small it didn’t actually have an office, spent most of his time in California and owned a small vineyard in Oregon, and he had helped out the Trump campaign as a sort of informal West Coast hand. He was still reveling in Trump’s upset win two nights later, over a bottle of wine on the patio of the Four Seasons in Georgetown, when a chocolate Lab padded over to his table to sniff his crotch. Stryk and the dog’s owner got to talking about wine and cigars and finally, like most of the country, about Trump. It turned out that she worked for New Zealand’s Embassy in Washington. New Zealand’s prime minister still hadn’t connected with the new president-elect, she told Stryk — a diplomatic and political embarrassment. Stryk cocked an eye across the table. ‘‘What if I said I could get you the number of someone to call the president?’’ he asked her.
The following afternoon, Stryk found himself in a cab, headed for a meeting with New Zealand’s ambassador to the United States, Tim Groser. Stryk was more than a little nervous. On the way over, he called a friend named Stuart Jolly, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who ran Trump’s field operation during the Republican primary and spent election night with Stryk at Morton’s. Jolly reached out to someone he knew in the Trump high command and delivered a cell number, but Stryk didn’t know if it would actually work. At the embassy, Groser invited him in, uncorked a bottle of pinot noir and called the prime minister to pass along the number. A week later, President-elect Trump was finally able to accept a congratulatory phone call. But even before the call went through, plans and possibilities were blooming in Stryk’s mind. ‘‘I said to myself: ‘This could be very, very interesting,’ ’’ he told me when I first met him this spring. ‘‘ ‘The world’s going to change.’ ’’