BOSTON (CBS) —- It’s called “This Town,” a scathing expose of Washington D.C. by a Newton native who’se been watching politicians of both parties make a hash of things for years.
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But, he says he’s never seen the tide of hypocrisy running quite so high.
We face more than a deficit of dollars right now. We face a deficit of trust,” the author of the book Mark Leibovich says.
Meanwhile, the president is repeating his core campaign promise to clean up Washington’s act.
Leibovich’s bestselling new book documents the Capital’s self-serving culture.
“The system is geared to things not getting done. If an immigration bill passes tomorrow, if a tax reform bill passes tomorrow, that’s tens of millions of dollars of lobbying, consulting, messaging fees that are not going to be paid out,” he says. “The dirty little secret is, cowardice is rewarded in a very very big way.”
But as Leibovich points out, it’s mission, not accomplished.
“What you have with the president is a series of never-minds: ‘we’re not going to opt out of the campaign finance system; but then never mind, we’re going to opt out of the campaign finance system,'” he said. “‘We’re not going to work with the super PACs in 2012; aw, never mind, we’re gonna work with the super PACs in 2012.'”
Leibovich says it’s more of the same from someone who promised no more business as usual.
“You don’t get to get it both ways. You don’t get to be the voice of morality here, then forget you said something exactly 180 degrees different a couple of years before,” Leibovich says.
He notes he is no conservative or chronic Obama-hater.
His book details how the greed and insularity of Washington is both deeply-rooted and bipartisan.
But the popularity of “This Town” is evidence that outside the Beltway at least, sympathy for promise-breaking D.C. politicians is hard to find.