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Why Not Pay Politicians to Do What You Want Them to Do?

Filed under: National Politics

The National Review, among others chimed in on President Obama’s call to politicize the gun control debate following the recent shooting spree in Oregon. From the article:

But ultimately Obama was just paying lip service to an ideal he does not live by. He’s not about to try building consensus on gun policy among people of good faith. He’ll take the same approach he’s taken throughout his presidency: He’ll delegitimize opponents of his sweeping agenda as irrational, self-interested enemies of decency and progress.

This kind of back and forth is good for political pundits of every stripe because it guarantees the debate will continue with nothing really changing.

But as we learn in this MapLight report, the most reliable way to influence a politician’s vote on an amendment concerning gun control is simply to pay them to vote a certain way.
A quick glance at this table shows that legislators received no money from groups that supported Senate Amendment 715—To Protect Second Amendment Rights, Ensure That All Individuals Who should Be Prohibited from Buying a Firearm Are Listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and Provide a Responsible and Consistent Background Check Process.
In all but a very few exceptions, politicians who accepted money from the gun lobby voted against the Amendment.
Presidential candidate Ted “Machine Gun Bacon” Cruz received $89,329 and voted “no.” Presidential candidate Marco “No Show” Rubio received $76,089 and voted “no.” Senate majority leader Mitch “The Rifleman” McConnell received $72,300 and voted “no.”
Mitch McConnell, Rifleman

Mitch McConnell, Rifleman

The takeaway is that money talks and bullshit walks. Gun control advocates should not get bogged down in ideological arguments with people whose opinions are bought and paid for. Why not just raise the money and pay these politicians whatever it takes to vote for gun control laws?