With "Draft Lessig" in full swing, to advocate for Larry Lessig running for Congress, I find myself in the uncommon position of being on the side of the crowd, yet for rather distinct reasons. Note there's no ambition on my part, as since I live on the other side of the country, I'm not ever going to be something like, e.g., special legislative aide in charge of DMCA-fighting. I'm not going to ask people to idealistically believe that I would be immune from being bought. But rather, in full cynicism, observe that there's nothing at realistic price levels which could even reach the status of an attractive offer.
That being said, consider: For many months, I've been commenting and even writing a column to Lawrence Lessig on "corruption", in sum, stay away from the data-miners and digital-sharecroppers, the conference-clubbers, the whole collection of hypsters and hucksters and marketers who operate via exploitative bubble-blowing. Instead, reality-check, subject theories to rigorous testing, and talk to people who deal with problems on ground level. So now Lessig considers a run for Congress. THIS IS GOOD (for him). It's the ultimate real-world test.
I've seen both Richard Bennett and Gabe Wachob" make cogent arguments that Lessig wouldn't be the best possible choice for elective office, not being especially suited for politics, and his opponent is a better choice for the district on the merits. But I think there's merit in Lessig making his case in a campaign, even if the other side proves correct.
Which bring me to Shelley Powers point:
Which then leads us back to the whole Change Congress platform. Here we're talking about an organization populated by neophytes who got a hankering to "change Congress", without once considering that some of most important changes must occur at the local and state level, and in the executive branch, as well as Congress. Populated by people who seem to think that all one needs is a weblog, the right social network (and associated tools), and a leader who is wired.
And nothing puts that to the test that like an actual election. Which is why I think it's a good idea to try and see what happens.
[Update - All academic now (pun unintended), since Lessig has decided not to run]By Seth Finkelstein | posted in politics | on February 21, 2008 09:53 PM (Infothought permalink)