The good ole' American past time is to apply political personalities to a region or location just like state mottoes or sports teams. Yet, this becomes problematic and creates a trend that shakes the very core of the representative democracy we live in since these assertions become so localized and trivialized to the point where we ignore the national ramifications.
Pay to play is the very essence of American politics. It's just that we are, as a society and body politic, very slick at making it seem as though this isn't the case. But, it shouldn't come as a surprise when we have arrived to a point where running for anything statewide or higher requires a million dollar purse, an inheritance or friends who access money for a living. The political world may be in a state of awe or shock at the recent indictment of Washington power lobbyist and Republican leadership money goat Jack Abramoff for fraud, but paying to play or stepping over others to get paid is something quintessentially Washington and inherently American. It's not rooted in pop culture, hip hop videos or Superbowl ads. How do you think it got there in the first place? Abramoff's troubles do not reflect some hushed Washington secret - and the fact that we treat it as such will gradually seal our political fate towards a very unkind and very Roman-inspired doom.