Everyone remembers learning the ABC’s, right? As we begin our journey through the educational system, the ABC’s are one of the first things taught and serves as the foundation of our experience.
As Freshman enter the halls of Congress, the ABC’s are one of the first things members are taught as well, only the meaning is drastically different, yet serves as the foundation of their congressional experience.
A – Always
B – Be
C – Closing
Words made famous by Alec Baldwin’s speech in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, when after providing the firm’s employees a list of prospects who have cash to burn, asks them whether they ‘man enough to take [the cash], and close the deal?’.
What you may not realize, however, is how similar this scene is to the worklife of incoming Congressional Freshmen from both sides of the aisle, who spend up to four hours of the work day dialing for dollars, and trying to close the sale.
Shortly after being sworn into office, the realities of Washington are made crystal clear to the incoming congressional class. According to the Boston Globe, and confirmed by a political donor:
The newcomers were told to devote at least four hours each day to the tedious task of raising money — so-called dialing for dollars — so they could build a war chest and defend their seats, according to those present. That’s twice as much time as party leaders expect them to dedicate to committee hearings and floor votes, or meetings with constituents…The all-consuming quest for dollars is part of Washington’s permanent, intensely waged campaign for party dominance. It cuts deeply into the typical day of lawmakers, robbing them of time they could spend building relationships with colleagues, dealing with constituent problems, and delving into policy issues. It is a major contributor to party gridlock, and keeps lawmakers dependent on the good graces of lobbyists and other special interests seeking favor on Capitol Hill.
Americans everywhere see the gridlock in Washington, wonder why nothing seems to get done and why D.C. agendas such as ‘immigration reform’ seem to be shoved down the public’s throat when the majority of American’s do not want it passed.
The Founders of our nation did NOT envision ‘politician’ as a career choice, and they certainly did NOT envision said politicians spending at least half of their workday as telemarketers selling ‘We the People’s’ interests away to the highest bidder.
Yet I am curious, how many of you were aware your representatives are required to raise $250,000 per quarter to place in the party coffers? This is why the war declared on the Tea Party by establishment members of the GOP as well as the Chamber of Commerce should concern ALL Americans.
If you believe for a moment the politicians are in charge of what goes on in this country, or your party of choice has your best interests at heart you are sadly mistaken. Special interest groups with cash to meet the fundraising requirements set by party leaders control what happens in D.C. and rather than exposing the corruption, new members either succumb and join the game for their million dollar lobbying job payoff post retirement, or they leave Washington in disgust.