Love Lost

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Washington's lobbyist brigade is feeling a little unloved - by Sen. John McCain in particular, who has fired several high-level staffers who are lobbyists because of a new conflict of interest policy. Now, despite the big checks big lobbyists have written him, McCain is keeping his distance. Dear lobbyists, welcome to how the rest of the country experiences the political process: outside, looking in.

There is, as they say, a lot of rage from the lobbyists:

“McCain’s self-righteous [expletive] has caught up with him. Now he’s got himself in a jam,” said another Republican lobbyist who asked to remain anonymous because he is a campaign volunteer. “He’s got to change the subject back to economic growth and taxation and the war on terror.”

And there’s this thought from another McCain supporter: “I find it a little offensive. It was good enough to get my $2,300 donation. If we’re not good enough, then send my check back. It pisses me off.”

Yes! Stop focusing on all this ethics nonsense about people working directly to shape the message and direction of your campaign to be our nation's leader while lobbying on behalf of industries and corporations who would very much like your consideration -- that's purely cosmetic. And while you're at it McCain, send us back that money. If we aren't allowed in the campaign's inner circle then we're taking our checkbooks and going home.

Having alienated some of the K Street crowd, perhaps McCain is looking to make new friends, and that's why he's blowing off the confirmation hearings of Gen. David Petraeus to attend a couple of fundraisers in California. Psssst, Senator -- Fair and Clean Elections legislation to cover all congressional races plus the presidential race would free you from the fundraising treadmill and leave you more time to do your job and talk to voters. Think about it!