`He who pays the piper calls the tune’ means that the person who provides the money for something decides what will be done. Our country is not governed by two opposing parties, but rather a single liberal establishment of pipers that advances Washington’s priorities as they are defined by the lobbyists on K Street. Every senator who caucuses with the Democrats is one of these pipers except Bernie Sanders, Socialist Vermont. Only about a third of the Republican senators are not one of these pipers. Even less, 31% of the Republican Representatives are not one of these pipers.
Since getting elected the majority, Senate Republicans have passed a trillion-dollar “cromnibus” spending bill, voted to fund Obamacare, voted to fund executive amnesty, voted to confirm Loretta Lynch as Attorney General, and voted to save the corporate welfare program known as the Export-Import Bank. How is any of this different from what Harry Reid would have done as Majority Leader?
First, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) helped Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) and the Democrats pass an amendment that reauthorizes the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) to reward the lobbyists on K Street. As Majority Leader he has more power than just any senator has when he offers an amendment. He’s the only one who can offer a privileged amendment and require it to be voted on before anything else, and then block any other amendments from being filed.
McConnell helped Reid block a vote on an amendment offered by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) that would have prevented lifting sanctions on Iran unless and until Iran recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and unless and until Iran releases American hostages.
And if this weren’t bad enough, McConnell also helped Reid block a vote on an amendment offered by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) that would have defunded Planned Parenthood so taxpayers wouldn’t be forced to fund their abortions.
Every Democrat present voted to save the corporate welfare program as well as Angus King, Independent who caucuses with the Democrats. Bernie Sanders, Socialist that caucuses with Democrats, voted No along with 28 Republicans to the amendment to reauthorize the Ex-Im bank. Some, like McConnell, voted No because their vote was not needed for it to pass and they had already done their part of the bargain by enabling the amendment to be voted on.
Why are only Republicans tarred with being for corporate welfare when the majority of the votes for this corporate welfare are from the Democrats?
Why aren’t Democrats pressed to defend their votes to reward the lobbyists on K Street? All the Democrats are loudly campaigning against corporate welfare. Juan Williams at Fox News dismisses it all as “just campaign rhetoric.” It’s not just campaign rhetoric for Bernie Sanders, and for one-third of the Republican senators who are not “campaign conservatives” it’s not just campaign rhetoric.
Why do we voters continue to reelect a super majority of senators that vote for corporate welfare rewarding K Street lobbyists?
This cronyism is despised by voters of both political parties, and a change of leadership is not a fix when such a super majority are invested in cronyism. The only chance for a fix is to not reelect the bad actors. If this action happens often enough by us the voters, then there will be a change of attitude. No change of attitude happens just because Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell switch places. That accomplishes nothing.
In recent years we have witnessed voters of both political parties primary prominent House members. It happened in 2010 in the Democrat party primary in Texas when they elected Beto O’Rourke instead of incumbent Sylvestre Reyes. It happened in 2014 Republican party primary in Virginia when they elected Dave Brat instead of Erick Cantor. This needs to also happen in U.S Senate primaries, and it needs to happen more often.
There are 22 Republicans and 7 Democrats running for reelection in 2016. If the majority of voters refuse to vote for the 7 Democrats and 11 Republicans invested in cronyism, then they are not reelected. The money they receive from Boeing, GE, and Caterpillar will not bring them votes.
Some say you just need to call your senator. Poppycock! The only thing that has any chance of working is to simply stop electing your senator if his votes reflect what the donors on K Street want instead of what you want. There are 3 open seats currently held by a Democrat and 2 open seats currently held by a Republican. We really hope that some more of the 29 will announce that they are retiring too between now and the 2016 election.
Unfortunately it will probably take a major scandal like the U.S. House Post Office scandal in the early 1990’s to wake enough citizens up to vote out the completely corrupt politicians who care not even a little bit about the priorities of their State’s constituency.
Here is a list of the 29 senators running for reelection in 2016 from worst to best according to their current score at Heritage Action Scorecard.
Ron Wyden (D-OR) 0%
Patty Murray (D-WA) 0%
Michael Bennett (D-CO) 6%
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) 6%
Patrick Leahy (D-VT) 6%
Brian Schatz (D-HI) 6%
Chuck Schumer (D-NY) 6%
Mark Kirk (R-IL) 18%
Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) 31%
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) 31%
Rob Portman (R-OH) 31%
Richard Burr (R-NC) 44%
Ron Johnson (R-WI) 50%
John McCain (R-AZ) 56%
John Hoeven (R-ND) 56%
Pat Toomey (R-PA) 56%
John Thune (R-SD) 62%
Roy Blunt (R-MO) 67%
Chuck Grassley (R-IA) 67%
Johnny Isakson (R-GA) 68%
Jerry Moran (R-KS) 74%
John Boozman (R-AR) 81%
Jim Lankford (R-OK) 81%
Tim Scott (R-SC) 81%
Rand Paul (R-KY) 87%
Mike Crapo (R-ID) 88%
David Vitter (R-LA) 88%
Richard Shelby (R-AL) 99%
Mike Lee (R-UT) 100%