Democrats are getting pretty well eviscerated for the watered down lobbying and disclosure bills they're pushing in Congress. Next in line with scalpels are The Politico and The Philadelphia Inquirer both wondering what it takes to break the gridlock and get a strong bill through.
The Politico believes scandals are the motivating factor behind any substantive change of lobbying and campaign finance regulations, since its the only thing more powerful than the lure of continuing the status quo for professional and personal profit. Certainly the fresh wave of searches and indictments in the Jack Abramoff investigation coupled with new investigations into Reps. Rick Renzi and Ken Calvlert to say nothing of the freshman Reps. elected in districts with scandal-scarred incumbents will provide some much needed motivation to not only change the status quo, but strengthen the bills that will do it.
Meanwhile, their readers weigh in with some harsh words of their own (and with support for better disclosure, stricter lobbying regulations, and public financing) for any lawmakers who are dragging their feet.
The Inquirer notes the downward spiral of public approval ratings for Congress: a dip is to be expected (all honeymoons eventually end) but the steep slope in this case has the paper suggesting that Democrats get their act together on the legislative promises they made -- like stricter lobbying rules, and disclosure of campaign "bundlers."