Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fuming Lobbyists

I'm usually not one to advocate unilateral disarmament in politics, but I'm quite pleased that Obama is refusing money from Washington lobbyists and think this is a grand state of affairs.

"I'm curious how much [the Obama campaign] thought about this decision," said one Democratic lobbyist. "I take Obama at his word that he's serious about changing the culture of Washington. But he's also got to realize that right now, he's the Babe Ruth of politics. You've got a lot of other people out there who are AAA ballplayers; they don't have the ability to do what he's doing in terms of raising money and wowing crowds."

Another Democratic lobbyist said Obama's ban effectively tars everyone who can't live up to it. "Now you're implying that the House and Senate Democrats - and Republicans - are scumbags that take lobbyist money," the lobbyist fumed.

Lobbyist money is part of the general incumbency protection racket in Washington. Candidates can benefit from the small donor revolution, it just requires they adjust their focus and schedule a bit. We know that enough people are willing to give, you just have to find ways to reach them. The AAA ballplayers need to learn to play the game a different way.