The urge to drape mundane or slightly disreputable work with a fancy title has been with us for a while. Thus garbage collectors are "sanitation engineers." Prison guards, "correction officers." Strippers, "exotic dancers." This provided some good material for the late George Carlin and became pretty much organic in Washington where all bureaucrats are "administrators" and virtually nothing is called by its right name. Once upon a time we had a "War Department" and a "Secretary of War." We still fight wars but now the job is handled by a "Department of Defense."
So, of course, the people whose job is to influence legislators – by either lying or telling the truth, depending on which is more likely to be effective – don't want to be called "lobbyists" any longer. The word carries a certain stigma. Which certainly isn't the fault of the word, but never mind. As Megan R. Wilson reports at The Hill:
The American League of Lobbyists is considering removing “lobbyist” from its name as its members increasingly brand themselves as consultants and public relations experts.
One tries hard to muster up some compassion for the people who suit up on K Street every morning and go forth to lobby … er, consult on behalf of their clients for the merest six or seven figures and a tasteless lunch at the Palm or wherever they are eating these days. Imagine how much
“It sucks to have your grandmother look down on what you do.”
As one "lobbyist for a Fortune 500 company who requested anonymity to speak freely," says.
One does wonder, however, if Granny will be fooled. Like just about everyone else in the country, she has tumbled to what goes on in Washington. No matter what you call it, they still make sausage on Capitol Hill.