How to Win Friends and Influence People in Washington

David and Charles Koch

When a candidate is running for political office, whether it’s for a seat in the House of Representatives, the Senate or the White House itself, the winner  isn’t  dictated by their campaign or their policies; technically it’s not even the amount of money they raise. The overwhelming factor these days seems to be the price tag that is attached to their soul.

Politics in Washington has become so corrupt and immoral that it is now more important to be bought by the most corporations and special interests as possible, rather than having your own beliefs. Take Mitt “Flip-Flopper” Romney for instance; does anyone realize he might be constantly changing his mind because he keeps on receiving checks from special interest groups on both sides of the issue?

Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, House Speaker Rep. John Boehner and former presidential contender Sen. John McCain all expressed a belief in human-caused climate change. Newt Gingrich even made a “We Can Solve It” climate change commercial with rival Nancy Pelosi. So what happened? Did they all get simultaneously struck in the head with the same stupid stick? Maybe, but the more plausible reason is they were all bought by major U.S. oil conglomerate Koch Industries.

While Koch Industries has lobbied aggressively against climate-change policy for years, Americans for Prosperity, A Tea Party Super PAC founded by David and Charles Koch launched an all-fronts campaign using advertising & social media, aimed at electing lawmakers who will ensure that the oil industry won’t have to worry about any green regulations or environmental initiatives.

David and Charles Koch

Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, said proudly that “if you buy into green energy or you play footsie on this issue, you do so at your political peril.” Republicans for their part are eating this shit up; it’s much easier to cash a check than to fight for what you actually believe.

On another front, it is well known that the Republican Party is not only owned by big oil, but it’s also owned by and large by the big banks. Last year the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created and set up by Elizabeth Warren. According to its website, the purpose of the CFPB is to be “a cop on the beat to enforce the laws on credit cards, mortgages, student loans, prepaid cards, and other kinds of financial products and services.” In other words, the Wall Street Police.

However, since opening its doors this past July, the Bureau has been without a director. Senate Republicans filibustered President Obama’s nominee Richard Cordray recently and say they will block any nominee unless a board of bank regulators is empowered to veto decisions the consumer bureau makes. Republicans don’t seem to realize that the Bureau is already established and it was established  with, in fact, a board of regulators who can veto rules proposed by the bureau.

When the CFPB was created, it sailed through Congress and the Senate no problem, but now that it is election season and Republicans must do what their big bank and business masters tell them to do, blocking Cordray as the director is the only card they have left to show their allegiance.

My two favorite hobbies are music and politics. When we see an artist or musician peddling their art form on a television commercial for a few extra bucks we label them as sellouts. Rightfully so, especially if it goes against what they sing and preach, but thankfully there are but a few. Imagine then how I feel when I see every single politician out there being influenced to make important decisions based not on what he or she believes, but on who is flipping the bills, that my friends is the true definition of sellout.

It’s free market politics at its worst, there is no law you can’t get around, no rule that can’t be legally bent and not many politicians that can’t be bought. If you want to make friends or influence people in Washington you had better bring your checkbook.

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