Obama’s constant message throughout the campaign was that we needed to “change the way Washington works”—or maybe doesn’t work—for America at least, as opposed to the K Street lobbyists who have flourished over the past decade. The country believes (as 88 percent in California believe) that “money buys results.” That belief fundamentally erodes trust in government. Rasmussen reported in July and August that less than 10 percent believe Congress is doing a good or excellent job—a lower approval rating than the British Crown had at the revolution. The first step to restoring this faith is thus to fundamentally change the economy of influence that is Washington right now. People need to believe that the government does what it does because it makes sense, not because it mints more campaign dollars.
This follows what Lessig has been saying for quite a while now, that what he calls “corruption” has broken government. This is his “first problem.”
Lessig lists a number of solutions, all of which are good, and will hopefully be considered and even implemented. This is really going to be the test of the Obama Administration, whether or not he can change the way Washington works.