The new Democratic house hasn’t even been sworn in yet and already its members are raising a stir on Capitol Hill. Young, progressive representatives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) are pulling back the curtain on what goes behind the scenes in the House of Representatives, and they have some very disturbing information to report.
Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter today to tell the nation that the incoming freshmen representatives are treated to an “orientation briefing” hosted by… corporate lobbyists.
Our “bipartisan” Congressional orientation is cohosted by a corporate lobbyist group. Other members have quietly expressed to me their concern that this wasn’t told to us in advance.
Lobbyists are here. Goldman Sachs is here. Where‘s labor? Activists?Frontline community leaders?
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 6, 2018
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One of the most prominent speakers turned out to be Gary Cohn, the former CEO of finance behemoth Goldman Sachs and former Trump economic advisor, who condescended to the new leaders and told them that they were in “way over their heads” and “didn’t know how the game was played.”
The game, of course, is the “game” in which our elected officials are bought or cajoled into serving the interests of the monied elites and being rewarded with campaign donations without displeasing their constituents enough to lose re-election.
But freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib made it clear that this year, things were going to be different. The first Palestinian-American Congresswoman took to Twitter and let the world know that this Congress isn’t going to be bought by the wealthy so easily.
Gary Cohen, former CEO Goldman Sachs addressing new members of Congress today: "You guys are way over your head, you don't know how the game is played."
No Gary, YOU don't know what's coming – a revolutionary Congress that puts people over profits. https://t.co/ZLML2qzAW6
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) December 6, 2018
It goes without saying that having jackal lobbyists for multinational finance corporations coaching our elected representatives during their Congressional orientations is deeply disturbing and absolutely unacceptable.
But even this tiny glimpse behind the curtain goes a long way towards explaining why Congress has, for decades, consistently put the needs of the oligarch class over the needs of their constituents; how deeply corruption is rooted in American politics and how, up until now, how eager our “leaders” were to be players in their unholy game.
Things finally seem to be changing. As I said before, people like @RashidaTlaib & @Ocasio2018 are beginning to expose the entire infrastructure of big money corruption that invisibly shapes our politics on a daily basis. https://t.co/fH1OyPhlj0
— David Sirota (@davidsirota) December 6, 2018