Wednesday, January 18, 2006

On Lobbying Reform

Well, in light of the Abramoff kerfluffle the Democrats are proposing new regulations that will prevent lobbyists from picking up the tab for a meal, or for offering free transport to elected representatives.
Yup, that ought to do it. Right there because we know that every Congressman can be bought for the price of a lunch. Sheesh.
The problem with this solution, as with so many solutions, it doesn't solve the real problem. It is not the lobbyists who are the problem, rather our elected representatives who are so easily swayed by them.
Lobbyists are a constitutionally protected job class. The right of the people to petition the gonernment for redress, etc. So, since we cannot remove the ones who would tempt our legislators, perhaps we need to replace them instead of the lobbyists.
The basic problem with any codified set of ethics rules is that there are always loopholes. West Point uses the simple, "do not lie, cheat or steal, nor condone those who do." The advantage of ambiguity is that you always have to stay safely on the side of being right. It's when you say that the meal was less than $50 before taxes, and therefore ok that we begin to have problems.
America, the place with a permanent criminal class which resides in Washington.

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