Unlike many other politicians who have promised to take on the establishment and “drain the swamp,” Representative Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) is actually trying to do just that, and is taking some serious flak for his exposure of the Deep State and its agents on Capitol Hill.
In a video series entitled The Swamp, Massie, along with Representatives Dave Brat and Tom Garrett of Virginia, Ken Buck of Colorado, Rod Blum of Iowa, and Ted Yoho of Florida, are showing people “what happens behind the scenes in Congress.” To date, there are four episodes, each running about 10 minutes.
Besides pulling back the curtain to reveal the names and tactics of those who really pull the legislative levers in Congress, The Swamp videos make it very obvious that, although there are 435 members of the House of Representatives, the key decisions are made by a handful of very powerful leaders bent on controlling the country and that the betrayal is bipartisan.
When asked about how bills get passed when there seems to be opposition in Congress, at least when controversial bills are first offered, Representative Blum responded, “Most all the decisions around here are made by a few people at the very top, without the input of any other congressional members or U.S. senators. That’s not good representative government, wouldn’t you say?”
As for which party is most responsible for the bankrupting of the country and the disregard of the Constitution and its enumerated powers, another segment of The Swamp points the finger at both sides of the aisle.
“I think both parties are engaged in a quiet deal that we will support our base, and if it leads to bankruptcy, okay, and you will support your base, and if it leads to bankruptcy, okay,” Representative Buck says in Episode 1.
In Episode 2, the perception of a two-party system where the two parties oppose each other and want to achieve different ends is shattered as leaders of Democrats work with their Republican counterparts to shove a bloated, unconstitutional omnibus spending bill through the House without giving members time to read the text of the measure.
“You could just see the Democrats huddled around Nancy Pelosi, and she would just send the next one down to make sure that the rule passed,” Buck says in the video. “When it comes to bankrupting the country, they cooperate all the time.”
Representative Buck puts a finer point on the perfidy: “On a number of spending bills, I have read about provisions that affect my district before I ever heard anything from Republican leadership. They will talk to lobbyists and get something in the bill to help the lobbyists, and then the lobbyists will talk to the media, and then I read about it. But I have no participation in what goes into a spending bill, and I’d venture to say that 95 percent of the members here don’t know what’s in a spending bill until we’re supposed to vote on it.”
In another segment, Buck explains that the lessons about lobbyists and how they run the show begin on a representative’s first day in Congress. “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,” Buck says.
Perhaps one of the most damning disclosures in The Swamp occurs in Episode 3 when Representative Massie explains how members can gain a seat at the leadership table and take a more active role in the setting of the congressional agenda.
Here is a summary of this sinister situation provided by Jayme Metzgar of The Federalist:
One of the most shocking revelations comes in Episode 3, when Rep. Massie details how the party forces members to pay “rent” for their committee assignments and chairmanships. 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. In an interview, Rep. Buck told me this system has been in place for Republicans since the days of Newt Gingrich, and even longer for Democrats.
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.”
That is, as Massie says, nothing more than the workings of a “banana republic.”
Massie recalls that even staffers get in on the game, leaning on legislators to vote with the party or face the consequences.
“This is a staffer,” Massie says. “She’s giving me permission to vote my conscience, to vote for my constituents? It was ridiculous, but that was just the tip of the iceberg.”
Finally, the most frightening aspect of the depth and width of the deception and the corruption in the highest offices of the legislative branch is that it is following a path trodden by all tyrants throughout all ages of human history. Consider this description of the “Deep State” and legislative betrayal of citizens by lawmakers working for it written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in 1762:
First, when the prince ceases to administer the State in accordance with the laws, and usurps the Sovereign power. A remarkable change then occurs: not the government, but the State, undergoes contraction; I mean that the great State is dissolved, and another is formed within it, composed solely of the members of the government, which becomes for the rest of the people merely master and tyrant. So that the moment the government usurps the Sovereignty, the social compact is broken, and all private citizens recover by right their natural liberty, and are forced, but not bound, to obey.
Episode 4 of The Swamp was released just a few days ago and covers the consequences faced by those lawmakers brave enough to buck the system and call out the conspirators.