The conventional wisdom, as expressed by an anonymous Slashdot reader:
Never forget, representatives DO represent the will of the people. If they fail to, they get replaced by those next in line who claim to. It's the beauty of the american democracy.
What American democracy? If the United States of America were a true representative democracy, we wouldn't have a Digital Millennium Copyright Act or a Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act. The USA is not a democracy but really a plutocracy, which Webster defines as "government by the rich." Our representatives have learned that campaign money is more powerful than integrity in getting a fellow elected; a Congresscritter generally represents her constituents up until the day after inauguration, after which she represents special intere$t groups such as RIAA and MPAA.
But in a slightly more sinister sense, special interest groups do represent the will of the people. The pure capitalist would say that "if consumers don't want effectively perpetual copyright terms, they wouldn't buy from producers that funnel their money into lobbying for such laws." The public voices its approval of loss of rights by buying tickets to Disney's Pearl Harbor, Atlantis: The Lost Empire (still a copy of Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (still a copy of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea)), and
Starf Monsters, Inc. There just isn't that much economic demand among consumers for freedom.