The first episode of The Swamp from CRTV introduces the four congressman that will be giving a first hand account of what happens on Capital Hill behind the veil. Congressman Ken Buck (CO), Rod Blum (IA), Thomas Garrett (VA), and David Brat (VA) give the viewer an honest, straight-talking, and enlightening glimpse at how congress really operates.
Even in the short 8 min episode numerous examples of the swamp abound. Blum describes the incentives inherent within the system that politicians are more than happy to guide their decision-making as follows:
“Here the incentives are ass backwards, upside down. There’s no incentive to save money here. In the private sector I think the incentives for the most part, though not perfect, are very good. Here there’s not an incentive to save money, there’s an incentive to spend money. There’s not an incentive to do what you believe in necessarily, or what you believe to be correct, there’s an incentive to get to ‘yes’, to be on the team. Now, why do you want to be on the team while you’re here? Well, because that’s going to help you do what? Win re-election. It’s going to help you run for governor. It’s going to help you run for the United States Senate, it’s going to help you be the next Speaker of the House. Those to me are not the correct incentives, because nowhere in what I just said are the words’ the people’. The incentives should be all about the people we represent. And more days than not I think everybody is represented in Washington DC other than ‘we the people’.”
Garrett goes on to describe what he believes motivates politicians as they seek not to serve their own constituents, but instead look to advance their own interests:
“Whatever percentage of people are here to perpetuate opportunity and freedom, and the ability of individuals to make choices for themselves, verses the number of people who are here to perpetuate their name, to be important, or be B list or C list celebrities, or to have people call them sir, or ma’am, or madame, or Mr congressman, it’s all stupid.”
Be sure to catch the next episode for another look behind the scenes at how Capital Hill actually operates.