If you’re somewhat fuzzy on how lobbyists work, you’re not alone. I don’t really like the tone of this infographic, which was written by a lobbyist and praises the tradition of lobbying. And there is the title of the infographic: “how we run Washington.” It’s disturbing. We all know how corrupt lobbying has become. But it’s the way things work.
The lobby we hear about the most is the “gun lobby.” Did you know that the lobbyist employed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), Chris Cox, is largely responsible for the failure of the background check’s legislation in the Senate?
We’ve all heard that, of course. We all blame (rightfully) the NRA for America’s gun problem. But the fact is, the NRA’s primary function is to lobby Congress on behalf of the gun industry. They pay their bills by hiding behind gun owners, who they manipulate with fear and paranoia. Gun owners are paying — via NRA fees — for the lobbyists who are responsible for the lax gun laws in our country.
The gun lobby is a very small party of lobbying. Did you know, for example, that the insurance industry lobbying groups gave tons of money to Sen. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)? Could that just have a little tiny bit to do with their fight over Obamacare?
Want to get even dirtier? Take a look at the oil industry lobby groups. They gave Boehner $406,489 in 2013-2014. Doesn’t it stand to reason that his “ignorance” on the climate change issue is apro pos? It’s not that he’s ignorant about climate change necessarily. He’s been bought by Koch Industries and oil companies. Seriously.
I could go on and on, but it’s simple enough to just “follow the money.”
The senators that we hire actually KNOW little about the issues for which they’re voting. ?The fact is, lobbyists can and do write legislation.?
But alas, we’re stuck with lobbying and lobbyists. The good thing is, we on the left have our own lobbyists working for us and they are essential to our causes and our movement. It is what it is.?The best thing we can do is to try to support our own lobbyists as much as we can.
Tiffany Willis is the founder and editor-in-chief of Liberal America. An unapologetic member of the Christian Left, she has spent most of her career actively working with ?the least of these? and disadvantaged and oppressed populations. She’s passionate about their struggles. To stay on top of topics she discusses,?like her?Facebook page,?follow her on Twitter, or?connect with her via LinkedIn. She also has?a?grossly neglected personal blog?and a?literary quotes blog that is a labor of love. Find her somewhere and join the discussion.