With “lobbying reform” still in the zeitgeist, and facing the need to do the bare minimum necessary to trick their constituents into thinking that they are concerned with something besides re-election, the Senate agreed to a ban on undisclosed meals from lobbyists. The job of infusing the dully obvious with the breathless gravitas of the narration in the Shawshank Redemption fell to Barack Obama, who said: “In cities and towns all across America it turns out that people pay for their own lunches and their own dinners…People who make far less than we do.”
Senator Trent Lott had a different take on the ban: “It’s totally ludicrous that we are doing this. I’ll be eating with my wife and so will a lot more senators after we pass this one.” Classy, that Trent Lott. What a catch.
While the measure seems on its face to be a solid step toward reform, there are loopholes. For instance, there is no measure in place to restrict lobbyists from buying their own meals, chewing them thoroughly, and regurgitating directly into the mouths of lawmakers. And we remind you–some elected officials are so dead inside, that they actually prefer to eat in this way.