Americans are right to demand the highest standards of their policy makers, and I, like Marcus, support the lobbyist prohibition. But I wish the press did a better job explaining the trade-offs facing those in public service. Americans might be less frustrated if they understood that Washington is a far more complicated place than reporters often lead them to believe.

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Lester Feder is a freelance reporter based in Washington, D.C., and a research scientist at George Washington University School of Public Health.