One of the goals that President Trump proclaimed during the campaign was that he wanted to “Drain the Swamp” in D.C. We heard many times from him and his surrogates about going to Washington to drain the swamp. Those at his rallies could even be heard chanting, “Drain the Swamp.”
It played well to the masses, but is it really possible?
Well, no – it is not. First, without getting into detail, some of Trump’s cabinet picks belie his promise – although he never actually stated that, “I promise to Drain the Swamp.”
His choices of Sessions as Attorney General, Scott Pruitt at EPA, Tom Price at HHS, and certainly (we hope) the new supreme Court justice Gorsuch appear at first blush to be swamp drainers. But Reince Preibus, Steve Mnuchin at Treasury and Secretary of State Tillerson seem at best to be status quo swampists.
But of course, it can’t all be left to Trump. There is no president who is capable of doing all the heavy lifting when it comes to this monumental and possibly insurmountable task. He must get help from the legislative branch.
This will be a lot tougher. Members of Congress and the Senate understand full well that presidents can only helm the ship for a maximum of eight years, while their careers as “public servants” can span decades. They also understand that incumbency is a great thing – that once they’re in, it’s difficult to get them out. In 2014, over 96% of incumbents won reelection and historically it runs around 90%.
The game is effectively rigged in their favor if they stay in Washington long enough to master the game. And to master the game, one must succumb to D.C. corruption.
We conservatives know all too well what happens to legislators who spend too many years in Washington. The staunchest conservative could be corrupted by spending too much time in D.C.
You don’t have to believe me. The proof of this corruption of the soul is easy to find. The more time spent in Washington, the more liberal one becomes.
A few days ago I received an email from my friends at Conservative Review that spoke to this point. I was directed to the CR site to see both the top 25 legislative conservatives and the top 25 RINOs.
The list of conservatives and RINOs was not itself surprising, but the proof that “time in service” was a major factor between the two could not have been more stark.
The total, cumulative time spent in D.C as Congressman (or woman) or Senator for the top 25 conservatives is 115 years. Dividing that 115 by 25 (legislators) gives us an average time spent in the D.C. cesspool of only 4.6 years.
Now juxtapose this result with the top 25 RINOs. The cumulative time spent by these RINOs is 449 years. That is an average of almost 18 years in D.C. And if it weren’t for a few recently elected RINOs, the result would be a lot worse – easily over 20 years.
These numbers are no coincidence. The more time a legislator spends in Washington, the less likely he or she will be inclined to change anything. Why would they wish to drain their own swamp?
And the reelection numbers don’t lie. It’s fine to proclaim our desire to unseat these swamp-rats, but in practice, it’s proven to be virtually impossible.
I hope that Trump is serious about draining the swamp. But if he is, he will not accomplish it by enlisting the inside-the-beltway crowd. We, through an Article V Convention of States, are the only ones who can achieve term limits. It’s the only way to end the cycle of corruption.