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A Declaration for Independence
Lawrence Lessig

You can enter any of the office buildings of Congress fairly easily. There’s a metal detector manned by guards, obviously not happy with their TSA-like shift. The search is brief, almost fake. You’re then inside a building typically with long, beautiful hallways, onto which the offices of congressmen and senators open. Often the halls are empty. Silent. Almost abandoned. Then, seemingly at random, a single person may enter a hall, or a gaggle of staffers. And sometimes, at the center, is a Member of Congress. Harried, focused, typically reading something as he or she walks, often frowning, unless you catch his or her eye. Then you’re met, whether you know the Member or not, with an “of course I remember you” smile, for a second, until light won’t bend to you, at your angle, anymore. The race then resumes, to a typically meaningless procedural vote, or to a florescent-lit cubicle in an office just next to the Capitol, where Members spend hours cold-call fundraising, the only truly required work of Members of Congress.

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