Now there's a graph that's worth a thousand eyerolls and disgusted head shakes. The details
, from Philip Bump:
We cross-referenced the vote with data from the Center for Responsive Politics on how much each member had received in campaign contributions from the finance/insurance/real estate industries. This isn't only from PACs affiliated with those industries, we'll note; it also includes employees of firms in those industries. On average, members of Congress who voted yes received $322,000 from those industries. Those who voted no? $162,000.
Of course, a smaller percentage of Democrats than Republicans voted yes, so we have that much to feel good about, but this is still a reminder of how our political system works.
As Bump notes, it's not that we're looking at straightforward vote buying. Industries tend to give more to politicians who are already friendly to them. One thing money buys is the access to make the case for legislation personally, rather than through four layers of staff. So Wall Street gives money to a politician who's already more or less on their side, then builds a little more of a relationship with the politician, then the politician hears Wall Street's side of any given policy dispute in a more up close and personal way than he or she hears the side of people who would rather Wall Street not be allowed to crash the economy again ... and so on. But that doesn't make it a much less corrupt system than if votes were being bought outright. It's just corrupt in a more subtle way.