I mean, of course, your plan for dealing with the issues raised in the remarkable, and remarkably disturbing, Facebook series The Swamp.
For those who haven’t yet seen it, the series follows a group of idealistic, newly-minted members of the House of Representatives as they head to Washington, DC, to help drain the swamp. Spoiler alert: They drown.
I think the most appalling revelation so far was that, in order to get committee assignments, each member had to commit to a monthly schedule of minimum payments to the Republican Party. One of the members described it as ‘renting’ seats on the committees.
These payments require the kind of money that you can only get from lobbyists. The more influential the committee, the higher the rent.
One of the members summed up the situation this way: ‘As soon as you want something, they’ve got you. As soon as you want something, you now become part of the swamp.’
Before seeing this series, I assumed things were bad in Washington. But I didn’t appreciate just how bad. After seeing it, I think that New Hampshire’s best move would be to refuse to send anyone to Washington (which just legitimizes the status quo), and start relying on the 9th and 10th Amendments to the federal constitution.
That seems unlikely. But at this point, it seems useless to ask a candidate for Congress what his stance is on this issue, or that issue, or what legislation he would introduce. Because without fundamental changes to the system, none of that is going to matter. Whoever gets elected will have two choices: go along with the program, or be marginalized.
So the only questions I would have for any candidate to Congress are:
- Given the realities of Congressional politics as exposed by The Swamp, is your plan to (a) go along with the program, (b) be marginalized, or (c) deal with it in some other way?
- If (c), what is your plan for dealing with it?
- If you have no plan, why should anyone pay attention to what you say you’re going to do in Washington, when you won’t be able to do any of it?
If you haven’t yet seen The Swamp, please watch it. And if you get a chance to ask a candidate for Congress for his reaction to it, please do it.