Facebook Series Exposes the Corrupt Swamp: Washington, DC

There is a documentary series out on (of all places!) called “The Swamp.” There are, at the time of this writing, three episodes up.

The documentary rips the glittering cover off the stinking swamp that is fighting Donald Trump and the Deplorables.

There is a documentary series out on Facebook (of all places!) called “The Swamp.” There are, at the time of this writing, three episodes up.

The Federalist reports on “6 Revelations From ‘The Swamp’ Documentary That Show Just How Dirty DC Is.” I want to concentrate on one which I didn’t know about and which I find most outrageous: Positions of power are rented from the parties, forcing congressmen to become dependent on lobbyists to gain influence. This is not a figure of speech. They literally bill Congressmen and lobbyists remind them of what they owe to get them to vote a certain way.

So when voters send someone to Washington to do stuff, the only way they get into a position to do much is to please other entities with money!

This is all described in the third episode:

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If a congressman wants to sit on a committee, he is expected to raise a certain amount of money for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the body that works to elect House Republicans. There is an identical system on the Democrat side. […].

The NRCC sends members a written “assessment” telling how much money they owe each session, based on committee assignments. (Massie displays his current assessment on camera. He says he’s left over a million dollars unpaid to the NRCC since his early days in Congress.) Committees are ranked by desirability and prestige — A, B, or C — and priced accordingly. “Veterans Affairs — that’s a C committee,” Massie says. “What if people back home knew that taking care of our veterans was considered the lowest-priority committee in Congress?”

The really perverse part of this system is that the amount of money required by the party — often totaling six or seven figures — can only be raised from one place: lobbyists. “The problem is, the incentive structure is set up to get you to sell out to lobbyists, because they’re the only ones who have the currency you need, which is campaign dollars, to buy your committee assignment,” Massie says in “The Swamp.” “It’s a terrible choice! Why should you have to do this? You’re faced with coming up here and prostituting yourself just so you can get a committee assignment where you can represent your constituents the best.”


Several congressmen talk on camera about their first experience of D.C. culture. Rep. Buck describes his freshman orientation this way: “It’s all designed to introduce members to how D.C. works, introduce members to the fact that there’s a good life if you play ball with the lobbyists, if you play ball with the power structure in D.C. … If you don’t play ball, there’s a set of punishments. They will do their best to isolate you and make sure that they take you out.”

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