The greatest problem in Washington is not polarization but lying. The legislative machinery has ground to a halt not because of the great divide between liberals and conservatives but because of the great divide between the lobbyists and the people. The lobbyists want things that are against the public interest, and they use lies and secrecy to try to win. The collapse of the Obamacare repeal demonstrates the limits of this corruption.
…and in the interests of full disclosure about who lies and who opposes the public interest, let’s not overlook the Democratic Party position on lobbyists:
or how many Democratic officials are in fact lobbyists themselves:
USA was never a true democracy, Electoral College, the non-proportional Senate
For a long time, and it’s getting much worse, unstoppably, irreversibly worse, the USA is an oligarchy, where the oligarchy buys the laws and regs to increase its power/wealth/abilities, without limit
iow, citizens have been effectively disenfranchised, since the politicians (and judges) operate to satisfy the preferences of the oligarchy Donor class.
Lies are not the problem, pervasive corruption is the problem.
And for any legislation they don’t like, all that these soulless shills have to do is climb though the courts until they reach the 5 Supreme Ayatollahs, and they will achieve their goals. This is the part of Trump’s legacy which will have the longest lasting and most deleterious consequences. However, we had no choice. Hillary Clinton was a neoliberal hawk, and if she had won, we would be facing a 2018 landslide on the right the likes of which we had never seen; we would also be looking at a 2020 candidate even worse than Trump, if such is possible. Trump is the necessary, grotesque evil thought which the country can see the existential threat to humanity posed by this extremist GOP. The tepid Obama-Clinton era Democrats failed in their weak efforts to protect We the People from this, because they sold out to the rightwing long ago.
Public opinions does not seem to concern corporatists dems and/or repubs. The interest of the people are represented here on this site but politicians and corporate media do not get all the facts out. Trickle down has come up how many times and failed. Do we hear that from corporate media? NO. Corporate media needs to be taken down along with too big to fails banks and Citizens United and for sure 'corporations are people my friends". If they are people jail them like they do people.
Wish I could like you, heat you many times. Right on.
Democratic appointments to SCOTUS don’t assure anything not in the Corporate interests, either.
Public financing of elections, with strict individual contribution limits ( $250 primary, $500 general, serious penalties for violations and full disclosure requirements ) would quickly put the hammer down on these lobbyists and their practises.
Not one mention of that public option in Mr. Sachs article, though. And, I’m picking on him. Just saying there’s more to it than rallying the troops.
You cannot get to the root problems in gov’t without public financing of federal elections, imo.
Boy it would be nice to see more articles on the military industrial complex----and how so little coverage in corporate media----this is a crime! A “defense” bill just passed the house with about a 100B increase–I think its still in the senate-----maybe if some Russians comment on it the corporate media might cover it-and it passed with the help of many democrats???
I was watching a history on Palestine on UTUBE—a friend also watching said this can’t be true–he had never heard of any of these horrors------WAKE UP WE LIVE IN A CORPORATE POLICE STATE!
Well, this says it all, doesn’t? Just follow the money…
“There are four great lobbies in Washington: big oil, Wall Street, the military-industrial complex, and big health care.” Really? Seems like you kinda overlooked THE ISRAELI LOBBY. Oops.
And the NRA.
Lying lobbyists aren’t a problem.
Lobbyists de facto bribes are the problem
I recommend a brilliant article by David Bornstein that ran in TNYT - appropriately, on July 4–the begtinning of this month. Its title addresses the problem the brilliant, worthy Jeff Sachs addresses by pointing to lobbyists.
We have all had a satisfying lesson in the last 6 months of what people power can do when citizens stand up and fight back. The miserable, misogynistic murderous agenda of Trump and the dishonorable power-mad Rethuglicans led by McConnell and Ryan were a bridge too far; our
fellow citizens took to the streets in hundreds, spoke out @ town halls, called Capitol Hill and local offices, erected solar panels to block pipelines, and other brave and loud disagreements with what the abovementioned scoundrels tried to ram down our collective throats.
“Putting Citizenship Back in Congress” which ran under the general “The Opinion Pages,” points @ the very
empowering citizens’ work that has been going on.
As I was reading this essay which lauds citizen efforts to turn the ship of state, when I got to paragragh 5, I had to sit up and really pay attention: Bornstein writes,
It's no coincidence that ---legislation [was] prioritized by Results, a grass roots network that works to build the political will to end poverty."
This writer proudly points to her volunteer activism with Results/ResultsEducationFund for almost 25 years. These
were some of the most satisfying years of my life. I recommend the readers to Sam Daley-Harris’ “Reclaiming
Democracy: Healing the Break Between Citizens and Government,” which relates successful legislative battles won by citizens just like her who used the tools of Results to empoiwer themselves to become “citizen lobbyists”. Our efforts always focussed on low-cost, high-impacts solutions to formerly intractable plagues upon the poor.
My greatest and proudest accomplishment with this powerful, citizen-driven group, is that we put microcredit on the global map. With brilliant staff-prepared summaries of a bill Results was backing, we descended on editorial writers, on Members of Congress, and on others who could help jiggle the wheels of power. These briefs detailed the empowerment of the poorest of the poor by the granting of tiny loans to build an enterprise with a skill these women[the first borrowers were women because of their especially low rung on society’s ladder] already had.
In 1997, Daley-Harris brought on an especially effective activist to serve as Executive Director while he developed the Microcredit Summit. He proceeded to lead Summits all over the world, region by region. Microenterprise ended poverty and hunger, one borrower @ a time, one family at a time, one group of borrowers at a time, one village at a time.
Dr. Sachs well knows of this work for he has been a valued ally in many of the battles Results [www.results.org]has fought. Putting Citizenship Back in Congress is the beacon that can light our way out of this murderous lobbyist-created grip of greed and lust for power by sociopaths at the helm of government.
Legalized lying undermines centrist politics claim of legitimacy.
A system where lying is legal is a corrupted system that will disintegrate due to contradictory multitudinous lies imploding in their conflicting logics.
Irrationality cannot perpetuate itself as rationality, progress and democracy.
Truth can undo madness.
Sachs sez: “In total, the four sectors spent around $1.5 billion in lobbying and another $1.5 billion in campaign financing in 2016 …”
Typo. They invested. And they’re getting a pretty sweet return.
Sachs sez: “The health care lobby wrote the key provision to block Medicare from negotiating drug prices …”
Clarification: The health care lobby purchased the publishing rights to the key provision, etc, etc.
Then held a loaded purse to the collective heads of CONgress during the vote, no doubt.
Uz says: No solutions jez Uz says. I saz, you’rez part of the problemz, not partz of the solutionz.
In 2002 I offered the solution of a battalion of bulldozers to level K Street and turn it into a public park, featuring native and non-water intensive plants.
Alas, Luv, I possess neither said machinery nor the certification to operate it. And as a Canadian, I freely admit to being ‘part of the problemz’. Sorry, eh?