Donald Trump went to D.C. to “drain the swamp,” but the swamp is stopped up. Congress has it clogged.
Not since the 109th Congress in 2005-2006 did the GOP control both the House and the Senate and the White House, all at the same time. (Bush 43 was President) Either Party having that combination normally means a plethora of legislation favoring the controlling Party will be passed and signed into law. One would expect for Congress to have by now repealed and replaced Obamacare, completed Tax Reform, the Budget, and started construction on the Wall. None of those has happened and are not likely during this Congressional session.
Why is it with the majority in both House and Senate along with the White House Republicans can get nothing done? During the run-up to November 2016, American voters were promised all of the above PLUS Immigration reform, GDP growth at an annual rate of at least 3%, a program to entice American companies with billions of dollars overseas to repatriate those funds into the United States and invest those dollars domestically to increase jobs. NONE of this has happened.
The reasons while not simple are very obvious. First, Republicans because of their conservative natures, are simply not aggressive in conducting the legislative process. Rather than enter into negotiations on specific items they promised Americans during the campaign, they wait, float “trial balloons” to fellow Republicans and Democrats to see how they feel about each idea. Democrats, however, simply craft legislation, throw it onto the floor for debate, and always seem to find ways to bring those to an up or down vote, even without a majority in either House. They are deal makers and good salesmen and women. Republicans are “nice guys.” You’ve heard that old saying: “Nice guys finish last.” Boy, the nice guys and girls in the GOP are certainly proving that point.
Secondly, being a member of Congress is really a great American retirement plan. No more do the Americans who once for only public service to their country go to Washington to serve in Congress representing Americans who live in their states, cities, and towns. Those Americans would find it impossible to serve today. Why? They could not afford a political campaign! Enter lobbyists and lobbying firms. These do nothing but raise money from partisan supporters for the purpose of influencing legislation. One would think that would be a tremendous conflict of interest for Legislators, and it is. But even with that, those in Congress today most certainly make far more money “working ” in D.C. OUTSIDE of the Capitol than “working” for Americans they represent INSIDE the Capitol. Their work consists of selling themselves to lobbyists who are all-in to accommodate Legislators who are willing to allow influence to do just that: influence their votes. This is the only plausible explanation for the huge wealth amassed by many Legislators who in most cases come to D.C. sleeping on couches in their Congressional offices because of cost. They pretty soon move to posh Georgetown digs, drive Porsches and Mercedes or simply have cars and car drivers, eat at the nicest restaurants, and take really nice vacations. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is today on trial for multiple counts of bribery accused of doing those very things: accepting gifts for Senatorial influence of all kinds. Serving in Congress today is about the easiest way to secure a posh life for “after Congress.” And American taxpayers smile, pat them on the back, and say “Thanks” for their service.
Donald Trump came to D.C. to “drain the Swamp,” the Swamp being D.C. itself. The problem is that those who live in the Swamp are pretty nasty critters and don’t want it to be drained. President Trump on numerous occasions has done his best to flush all the D.C. bad stuff out of the Swamp, but it is clogged up. He cannot get it drained.
Here’s how “normal” works in Washington: when the Swamp is full of water and business happens as usual, those critters fake fuss and fight with each other, but pretty much everyone simply gets along. The gators do OK with the snakes, and the snakes do OK with the spiders, and the spiders do OK with the wild hogs. Even thought they’re different, have different appetites and eat different things, they tolerate other critters. The Swamp keeps them safe with no outside interference.
For the first time ever, someone has invaded their Swamp and is trying to empty it. No one has ever before tried this. In a drastic move to preserve the Swamp, they take turns finding new ways to clog up the drain to stop the draining. Who’s trying to drain the Swamp? Donald Trump, just as he promised.
So, Democrats and Republicans have had their way for decades in the Swamp. Even though they’re different from each other with different backgrounds, appetites and desires, they have one thing in common: the Swamp. They have for decades worked together successfully to maintain their treasure. And now they have united against the attempts to take it away.
Majority and Minority leaders in the House and Senate are anything BUT leaders. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer claim to represent Republicans and Democrats alike, but who they really represent are other members of Congress with no concern about Party affiliation. Though they paint their jobs and what they do as supportive of the voting members of their Party, the reality is they do whatever it takes to maintain their position and power for the long-term. No matter who is in control of Congress, the gravy train that Congress is will always be maintained for the Minority by the Majority — American voter be danged. Voters and voters’ wishes are simply an after thought. After all, members of Congress want to run again and again and again and again. To do that they need votes and lots of money, money, money. Conning contributors into supporting campaigns with big dollars is what it takes to stay in the Swamp. And they all run their lives by this mantra: ”Whatever it takes.”
Today we saw clearly this “self-preservation” of the Swamp. Pelosi, Schumer, Ryan, and McConnell all went to the Oval Office to discuss a “deal” to include legislation for raising the debt limit while appropriating money for Hurricane Harvey relief for Texas and Louisiana. With GOP domination of the political process in D.C. you’d think whatever Ryan and McConnell want would be a slam-dunk. Because they are so nice, they couldn’t get it done. It took the two master salespeople — Pelosi and Schumer — to orchestrate an agreement on those two things. It wasn’t a Republican or Democrat victory — it was a victory for the Swamp.
There will be several other “victories” in Congress in the next few weeks and months. Watch closely as they march those victories out for all to see. It’s a sham!
The Swamp is clogged. President Trump cannot get all the bad critters out. Unless he is ultimately successful at draining the Swamp, all the bad stuff and bad critters will still be there and will still be doing what they do to maintain the status quo.
The President cannot do it alone. The disappointment to me is that voters bought the promises of the GOP and returned control of the House and Senate to the GOP along with the White House. Members of Congress obviously don’t care about that vote. We saw today the continuation of the horrors in the Swamp. Someone needs to clean out that clog. I don’t know who or how. But somehow it better happen soon.