For years, I’ve contended that the notion of bipartisanship working best between moderates within political parties is an old and faded reality. The mushy middle may be the home of pragmatists, but their pragmatism has been focused on retention of power instead of finding solutions in recent years, as can be seen by the actions of a Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
But on the “extreme” ends of the parties where “radicals” fight with passion instead of pragmatism, we can find common ground to attack many of the problems facing America today. It’s not universal; you won’t find the far-left and the far-right agreeing on how to handle border security or taxes. But when the goal is to attack the swamp-enhancing paradigms of politics-as-usual, the radicals are the ones who can lead that charge.
Case-in-point: Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) coming together to fight a plague in American politics, namely former members of Capitol Hill cashing in and becoming lobbyists.
They have been joined by Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Representative Chip Roy (R-TX), giving both chambers a member from each party ready and willing to cosponsor legislation.
If you are a member of Congress + leave, you shouldn’t be allowed to turn right around&leverage your service for a lobbyist check.
I don’t think it should be legal at ALL to become a corporate lobbyist if you’ve served in Congress.
At minimum there should be a long wait period. https://t.co/xMu9Mwmdm6
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 30, 2019
The problem is rampant in DC. Being an elected official gives tremendous power, connections, and influence to those we send to Capitol Hill. As a result, they are prized participants among the various lobbying groups in DC, using their past to influence the future by calling in favors and helping to navigate the halls of the legislative branch.
But it isn’t just direct lobbying groups who benefit from having former elected officials on their payroll. Oftentimes they are rewarded through other positions that may not have them register as lobbyists but that allow them to peddle influence nonetheless.
BREAKING: Nearly 60% of former members of the 115th Congress who have taken jobs outside of politics are now lobbying or have other jobs influencing federal policy. https://t.co/6QktNtuDy1 pic.twitter.com/7hisu0vCL5
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) May 30, 2019
If conservatives Ted Cruz and Chip Roy can join with progressives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Brian Schatz on legislation that most Americans would support, it gives us hope that the dysfunction in DC may be a treatable condition.
We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.
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