During the Presidential campaign, the candidates and their surrogates each proclaimed that they would reduce the influence of the big corporations, including the big banks, in DC. This was sometimes referred to as “draining the swamp.” Well, it’s not going to happen and there are, no doubt, good reasons (and bad ones) for that. A lot of people who have worked at big corporations, including the big banks, know how the system works, are quite capable people, and are certainly qualified to serve as government leaders in areas of their expertise.

Now, I am not saying that I agree with any of President-elect Trump’s picks for cabinet positions. What I am objecting to in this post is the use of the metaphor “draining the swamp.”

It is my hope that the Republican and Democratic members of the Senate will, when considering the nominees (who will, of course, be approved) refrain from lowering themselves by using the idiotic “draining the swamp” metaphor. There is no swamp and it will not be drained.

Certainly Hillary Clinton’s picks would have come from the same metaphorical “swamp.” Different choices, different values but the same “swamp.” Even Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Sen. Chuck Schumer have friends, supporters and advisers who have spent parts of their careers in the same “swamp.”

Why refer to “draining the swamp” at all? This was and is meaningless populist demagoguery. While it may have won votes in the election, the concept was then and is now both propaganda and total deception.

I hope the Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate will go the merits of individual nominees and ignore the epithets and metaphors.

Those of us who are Democrats need to remember some history, succinctly reported in an article in today’s New York Times. From the NYT article:

Democrats have themselves to blame for their weakened position in challenging a nominee. In 2013, the Senate voted largely along party lines to remove the 60-vote threshold on cabinet-level and non-Supreme Court judicial nominees. Mr. Trump’s nominees will now need the support of only 51 senators to be confirmed; Republicans are expected to hold 52 seats next year.

“At the end of the day, we were the ones who changed it to 51,” said Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, who voted for the measure. “I think it’s important to remember how righteous we were.”

Claire McCaskill tells it like it is.


      1. Thanks. You’re probably right–it’s basically become a sign that someone is oversimplifying things. But it sure makes a good book title! ; )


      2. Oh, I set a google alert set for “draining the swamp” after I published my novel by that name in 2012. That daily email from Google has gone berserk since the Trump campaign started using it! Once I got in on the conversation with my Examiner op-ed, I decided to go and let people know about it if they were talking about the subject. Marketing–yes. But it’s also important to me too.


  1. I see that President-Elect Trump has decided to scrap the “draining the swamp” metaphor. Perhaps its because he has no intention of doing anything of the sort the metaphor meant to his supporters. Perhaps he agreed with the Ed Gibney piece published in the Washington Examiner of December 9. I do not think anyone in the Trump contingent has ever seen this discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

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