The Best Government Money Can Buy?

The Best Government Money Can Buy is a documentary that asks the question:  Just how influential are lobbyists? Francis Megahy writes and directs this absorbing documentary about lobbyists’ role in American politics, the far-reaching implications of their spending on elections and their threat to democracy. In addition to exploring case studies from several industries such as health care and energy, the film features insights from Capitol Hill insiders, former White House officials and more. Starts out a little slowly but pulls you in by the end of the film. Gives a good perspective about the state of the democratic process and some of the incentives Congress faces not to act in the interest of the country or their constituents. Great place to start learning about lobbying!  Corporate money through Lobbyists has totally infested our legislative system.  As someone who knows some of the people and played that game for a number of years, this is an accurate portrayal of how the game is played in DC.  The film makes the undeniable case that there is a ‘Dollar Democracy’ in play which has completely usurped the intrinsic fairness of the American representative system. It shows how lobbyists are getting lawmakers to write legislation that is favorable to their business interests regardless of whether it hurts the general public or not. It explores a despicable culture where outright corruption and blatant immoral and unethical behavior is discussed by the perpetrators, comfortable that they are invulnerable. “Pay off congressmen and senator for favors? Sure — that’s our job!” “Fund the re-election campaigns, give them million dollar jobs, and for all the world to see it’s a carnival of horrors? Absolutely — that’s how lobbyists run this government.”  A very interesting documentary about the reality of American politics. Unfortunately, to get the attention of a politician you need someone to advocate for you. If you have money, then you can hire a lobbyist. If you don’t, well, find some nonprofit or you’re out of luck. Just remember, your Congressperson needs to raise lots of money every day. Politicians need money to get elected or reelected or become President, so money decides elections.  And all this was before the Citizen’s United decision brought to you by the Robert’s Supreme Court. Thanks GW Bush for that fantastic appointment, among many other things. The Right-Wing activist Supreme Court has made matters so much worse than this movie reveals.  The President is powerless against Congress, and Congress is literally bought and paid for by the largest companies of the country. So, sit back and realize that “democracy” is a myth, sort of like the “American Dream” is a myth… because you have to be “asleep and dreaming” to believe either one any more.  Very upsetting to watch, but necessary to understand that America is a facade, a room full of mirrors with a lobbyist behind every one to insure that there is no real democracy.  It is just an illusion to think citizens’ concerns matter in the scheme of things. I am afraid this country is gone forever. I am ashamed of the government.  Shame on all politicians who ever talk to lobbyists and do not have their ear to the ground listening to the American people. This film reveals the real power of lobbying groups in our political system. It also shows lobbying groups writing our laws for Congress and telling them what to say and do. It exposes the billions of dollars yearly spent to lobby members of Congress using campaign contributions. It shows how various groups and corporations look upon contributions as investments to protect their interests. In short, it reveals the corruption of our political system and why “A government for the people by the people” no longer exists.  It’s impossible to escape “the lobby”.  A lot of smart people were in this film and not one had an answer to all this mess. I have one… TERM LIMITS!  As a foreigner having spent a year in these circles, I have to say that this documentary reflects my experiences and the whole atmosphere of Washington. I’m not sure why the doc is categorized as controversial, because I wouldn’t know a person within Washington who would disagree with the main thrust of the story. This is the way the government is run and people on both sides of the aisle agree. Having said that, I’m not overly pessimistic. Now the internet channels information at little cost to people who have always had to go without necessary information in the past.  I urge anyone who watched this movie to further research lobbying inside the beltway. There are two sides to every story and this only tells of the dark side of lobbying. There are hundreds of lobbying groups that work with integrity and represent completely selfless causes. Yes they give money to campaigns, but that in no way gives a definitive answer as to who will win an election. A voting record is much more important than a campaign bank account. At the end of the day the voters get what the voters want, as the election of Obama proved. Toward the end, I had not realized how quickly the movie went by because even though there was a lot of information to cover, that info was distributed in a very smooth way that anyone could follow along with. It raises questions one at a time, explores each one while giving both sides of the point, and then seamlessly transitions to the next topic.  A “Must See” documentary about how modern contemporary government actually works. Legal Bribery. It’s a pity (but not surprising) this isn’t common knowledge. At any rate, this documentary is worth watching.  Eye-opening to say the least for the ignorant blinded general public. This should be a must-see for all Americans who have failed to see how our elected officials continue to profit from this corrupt system.  Documentary 2009 NR 76 minutes.



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