You’re going to want to be sitting down for this one. Wait, strike that, you’re going to want to be laying down in a sumptuous bed furnished with all manner of luxuriant pillows. You’re going to need to be steeping in a hot tub on the edge of an infinity pool overlooking a painterly sunset as the steady, calming waves crest on a white sand beach for this one, because, well, Donald Trump has said something eminently sensible.
Or at least someone in his campaign that is still paying attention to the fact that, were he to win, he might actually have to pay attention to the act of governance is. In his five-point plan for ethics reform, announced today, Trump lays out his ideas (“his” ideas) for curtailing corruption and undue influence-peddling in Washington.
First: I am going to re-institute a 5-year ban on all executive branch officials lobbying the government for 5 years after they leave government service. I am going to ask Congress to pass this ban into law so that it cannot be lifted by executive order.
Second: I am going to ask Congress to institute its own 5-year ban on lobbying by former members of Congress and their staffs.
Third: I am going to expand the definition of lobbyist so we close all the loopholes that former government officials use by labeling themselves consultants and advisors when we all know they are lobbyists.
Fourth: I am going to issue a lifetime ban against senior executive branch officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.
Fifth: I am going to ask Congress to pass a campaign finance reform that prevents registered foreign lobbyists from raising money in American elections.
I am honestly sort of speechless. They say a stopped clock is right at least twice a day, but you never expect to see that also apply to a clock that’s been kicked into fifty pieces, set ablaze with lawnmower gasoline, and drop-kicked into a wood chipper.