It's hard to precisely define the political establishment, the fixed group of financiers, political operatives, journalists, and politicians who make up the swirl of right-wing power in Washington D.C. But if it's not always simple to define in its totality, one man stands out as an innovative and particularly venal power broker: Thomas Donahue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
In a lot of ways, the new challenge after the 2006 elections for the progressive movement boils down to finding the unethical and unaccountable purveyors of systemic corruption and rooting them out. It is these forces that put Bush in the White House and reelected him. It is these forces that corrupt both parties. It is these forces that are going to fight tooth and nail to defeat the Democratic majority, while attempting to also corrupt it from within.
Fortunately, in this case, we can put a face to the force. Tom Donahue is possibly the most powerful business lobbyist in D.C. Most recently, he has been pushing aggressively to weaken the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was passed in the wake of the Enron scandal to ensure corporate accountability and protect investors. And right now, he's reeling, because he's been caught in an unethical stock scandal of his own.