"Voters are often idiots though."
Of course we are. Or more generously, we're not all qualified to govern, we have other trades. That's why we have a Republic, with representatives to figure out the governing stuff for us.
Nearly all of us have somewhere in our circle of known people somebody we consider wiser than us in such matters, who we'd be happy to have represent our interests in government.
There are just two problems. The ratio of citizens to congressmen has gone from a max of 60,000:1 to today's approximately 700,000:1. There used to be a possibility to personally know the representative, and regardless it wasn't that hard to meet with him. Now you might get a minute to talk with him during his election campaign or the county fair if you try real hard.
The other problem is the one Lessig discusses. Realistically, we don't get to nominate our representatives, we only get to vote from among the nominees that monied interests pre-selected for us.
So no, we can't vote in hard-working reformers, because even if reformers could attract some funding from the grassroots, even if we managed to elect one or two, the installed base of legislators and executives alike are already bought and paid for, and they stymie any reform. How much did Ron and Rand Paul accomplish - do we audit the Federal Reserve? Did they stop warrantless citizen surveillance? How much have Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren changed the system? How's McCain - Feingold campaign finance reform going?
Voters are not in charge. Never in our lifetime have they been.