by Max Brantley
I mentioned the other day that there's a political downside for U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln to be hailed by the agri lobby as the new chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Some people think the ag lobby hasn't been an unalloyed agent for good. (Remember how long they fought animal cruelty law changes, to give you one tiny example.)
As suspected, agribusiness is indeed turning cartwheels over the news that Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln is now chairman of the Senate Ag Committee. The public policy director for the retrograde American Farm Bureau told The Hill, “We couldn’t have handpicked a chairman better than this.” The giant sucking sound you’re hearing is agricultural reform rushing down the drain.
The headline of The Hill’s piece tells you all you need to know: “K Street welcomes Lincoln as the new head of Ag committee” — K Street being the center of the lobbying biz. If you read on, however, you’ll discover all sorts of lovely little Lincolnian tidbits. Did you know that in 2007 Lincoln tried to exempt agribusiness from toxic waste lawsuits? The fact that Tyson Foods, the nation’s largest chicken (and chickensh*t) producer, is based in Arkansas and is a major campaign contributor to her is, of course, a total coincidence.