Voters are sick of influence-peddling politics
As Nevada Sen. Harry Reid hits the trail to “red” states this week to try to gain political leverage from the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, we have to wonder just how much mud is going to stick on Republicans and how much on Reid himself.
Here’s how we imagine the press conferences going:
Reporter: “Didn’t you accept $61,000 from Abramoff’s Indian-tribe clients?”
Reid: “Yes, I did.”
Reporter: “Are you giving it back?”
Reid: “No, I’m not.”
Reporter: “Why not?”
Reid: “I didn’t do anything wrong.”
From there, Reid will attempt to paint Abramoff’s Republican cohorts as shifty, unethical politicians who should be thrown out of office because of the big-money influence such lobbyists have on legislation in Washington, D.C.
Excuse us if we – and most of the voting public, we suspect – roll our eyes and drift off into some kind of politics-as-usual stupor. We’ve all grown a bit weary of pious speeches and sleazy actions.
Perhaps Reid is squeaky clean here and all the money was obtained legally. To the folks out there in the red states of America, it’s still going to sound fishy that Reid wrote a letter in support of a Louisiana tribe one day, and got a check for $5,000 to his political fund the next day.
That may be how politics works, but that’s not how voters want it to work. They don’t much care whether the politician is red or blue, and they’re sick of both sides pointing the finger at each other to try to score points. On his tour, we suggest Reid spend less time talking and more time listening.