Of pots, kettles, Wall Street cash and GOP double standards

I can only imagine what they were thinking about over at the National Republican Congressional Committee when they decided it would be a great idea to make a fuss about how much money the Democrats have been taking from Wall Street interests, and more specifically the evil banking empire of Goldman Sachs. If you’re a Republican fundraiser it may sound like a great idea to link Democrats to Goldman Sachs, considering that these days Goldman Sachs’ favorable rating is polling just slightly above Osama bin Laden’s.

BUT, maybe they really should have thought this one out.

Consider that in the most recent quarterly reporting cycle, Republicans have accepted more from Goldman Sachs ($167,500) than Democrats ($123,000). The NRCC itself accepted $15,000 from Goldman Sachs. The guilt by association to Wall Street argument is also on shaky ground considering that the NRCC has taken nearly $9 million from Wall Street and the financial sector over the last three election cycles.

Earlier this week, I blogged about a new Public Citizen report that showed GOP senators — who are united in opposing the financial reform bill —  had received about 25 percent more in campaign contributions from banking interests than their Democratic colleagues. This isn’t to say that Democrats have the high ground. They don’t. Wall Street has plenty of cash to spread on both sides of the aisle.

If anything, the NRCC is right on target to call out Democrats for taking Wall Street’s cash. And while they were at it, they could have added a bunch of Republicans to the list as well. We’d even be happy to work with the NRCC to stamp out the corrupting influence of money in politics.

This afternoon, Public Citizen sent a letter to NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions asking him to help lead the fight in reforming our election system:

To show the courage of your convictions in impugning the Democrats for accepting Wall Street money, we believe your committee should return or donate to charity any such contributions that you have received.

We’re not holding our collective breath. If the NRCC was truly angry about Wall Street’s influence on Congress, it would join the fight to pass the Fair Elections Now Act (H.R. 1826). The bill would provide public financing of elections so that candidates would not have to sell themselves to corporate special interests.

While the bill has more than 145 Democratic sponsors, only three Republicans have signed on.