Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Lanny Davis disease and America's health care debate

Davis' history is as long and consistent as it is sleazy.  He was recently hired by Honduran oligarchs opposed to that country's democratically elected left-wing President and promptly became the chief advocate of the military coup which forcibly removed the President from office.  He became an emphatic defender of the Israeli war on Gaza after he was named by the right-wing The Israel Project to be its "Senior Advisor and Spokesperson."  He has been the chief public defender for Joe Lieberman, Jane Harman and the Clintons, all of whom have engaged his paid services.  And as NYU History Professor Greg Grandin just documented:

Recently, Davis has been hired by corporations to derail the labor-backed Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it easier for unions to organize, all the while touting himself as a "pro-labor liberal."

Davis was also the chief U.S. lobbyist of the military dictatorship in Pakistan in the late 90s and played an important role in strengthening relations between then President Bill Clinton and de facto president General Perez Musharraf.

Most recently, Davis has aggressively attacked progressive critics of Whole Foods CEO John Mackey after Mackey, whose company targets progressive consumers, published a Wall St. Journal Op-Ed opposing health care reform.  Needless to say, Davis had been hired by Whole Foods, serving as its lawyer in a protracted and expensive (i.e. profitable for Davis) antitrust battle with the Federal Trade Commission.

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