Lobbyists and Lobbyists

There are some areas in which I think people have become a bit inclined to overstate the difference between the political parties. I am, however, fairly certain that Garance Franke-Ruta is right about this:

When it comes to campaign finance laws, the devil really is in the details, which can rapidly render even the best-intentioned reforms meaningless. That said, I can't imagine that any one of the Democrats now vying for their party's presidential nomination would be so corrupt as to appoint a former mining industry lobbyist as deputy secretary of the Department of the Interior, as George Bush did, with the predictable and enraging result that "The Bush administration is set to issue a regulation on Friday that would enshrine the coal mining practice of mountaintop removal."

The sexier war n' torture issues and the fraught political dynamics surrounding them have sometimes tended to obscure this kind of run-of-the-mill graft and gross perversion of public purpose that have characterized Bush's approach to domestic policy issues.