What Will Non-Stories Of Violence Do To Political Accessibility?

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: Mar 26, 2010 8:53 AM
Walter Shapiro at Politics Daily has a thoughtful take on the recent political "violence" that the media seems so fond of re-telling. He fears this violence — or at least the storyline about it — will cause Congress to be less accessible to the people. Right now, he says...
The daily promenade of bolo-wearing Westerners, Hassidic rabbis, and visiting trade associations of modern-day George Babbitts with clip-on name tags collectively broadcast the message that [Congress] is a place that takes seriously a citizen's right to petition for the redress of grievances.
Well, maybe. But who actually gets access to Members of Congress? Lobbyists and those with bucks. Maybe the "trade association" people will get through, but not the rabbis. Not the people. Perhaps the average Joe can get a meeting with a Congressman every now and again, but he can't pull any strings. Those strings are only pulled by people with campaign money, or significant local power, except for with the rarest of legislators.