"Obama hasn't played the game that he promised. Instead, the game he has played has been exactly the game that Hillary Clinton promised and that Bill Clinton executed: striking a bargain with the most powerful lobbyists as a way to get a bill through -- and as it turns out, the people don't have the most powerful lobbyists. As I watched this strategy unfold, I could not believe it. The idealist in me certainly could not believe that Obama would run a campaign grounded in "change" yet execute an administration that changed nothing of the "way Washington works."
"But the pragmatist in me also could not believe it. I could not begin to understand how this administration thought that it would take on the most important lobbying interests in America and win without a strategy to change the power of those most important lobbying interests. Nothing close to the reform that Obama promised is possible under the current system; so if that reform was really what Obama sought, changing the system was an essential first step," Larry Lessig has explained.
YET the Obama Administration is still pretending that it has governed in accordance with its 2008 platform. Said White House spokesman Eric Schultz, "The people selected for this article are registered lobbyists, but this article excludes the thousands of people who visit the White House every week for meetings and events who are not. Our goal has been to reduce the influence of special interests in Washington -- which we've done more than any administration in history."
It's time for the Obama Administration to come clean and stop insulting our intelligence. On numerous subjects, Candidate Obama and President Obama have taken contradictory approaches. On lobbying, transparency, whistle-blower protection, the War Powers Resolution, the Patriot Act, indefinite detention, and other issues besides, either candidate Obama was lying about his views -- the uncharitable explanation -- or else something about becoming president changed his mind, whether new information or different responsibilities or a new perspective.
And we're owed an explanation.
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