Judging from the response to the “Deep Throat” post, readers are deeply concerned about how poorly served we are by a media that is more interested in maintaining access to the White House than in exploring important national issues. As some responders noted, (also providing some very helpful input), there have been any number of whistle blowers and dissenters, but their stories, once told, are often discounted or relegated to the back pages of the mainstream press; on TV they compete with the “runaway bride”, Michael Jackson or whatever nightmarish violence is deemed likely to capture the public’s fancy.
Are such things really more important than the possibility we were dissembled into a war in Iraq? Should we focus on “pop” news rather than this administration’s attempt to subvert our democracy? When Senator Frist speaks of a “constitutional option” with respect to judicial nominations is it clear that the Constitution actually says the Senate’s duty is not just to “consent” but also to offer “advice”? Would it be considered too ‘liberal’ if members of the press explained that technicality in their coverage, instead of leaving it to editorial writers?
And is the likelihood that our election system has been repeatedly gamed of so little interest to mainstream media that there is almost no follow-up to complaints and no pressure on our leaders to reform the system? There have been specific charges and legal challenges in Florida and Ohio, yet the press seems to address the issue in only the most desultory fashion. Imagine, there are even electronic voting machines that have a paper trail, yet many states forbid random machine and paper-ballot comparisons saying such checks represent “unauthorized recounts.” Wouldn’t such double-checks provide a crucial means of verifying actual vote counts in real time? Shouldn’t voters demand that verification?
It is passing strange that so many discrepancies during the last election cycle have been largely ignored. Where exit polls diverged from actual votes (usually favoring the president) the administration offered lame explanations. Yet, when similar anomalies occurred in Ukaine’s election, the White House claimed fraud and lobbied hard for new elections. Similarly, when Amnesty International recently called Guantanamo a gulag, the president cried foul – – “absurd” he said, although when that same organization castigated Castro and Saddam Hussein for human rights abuses we used its report to bolster our own position.
The most disturbing thing about our current national condition is that partisanship comes before principle. There are few congressional Republicans who stand for anything beyond whatever the president sets forth, no matter how irrational or unbalanced his programs or goals. They have countenanced an enormous national deficit and sanctioned a social structure that allows those at the top to grow ever richer as lower and middle class wages stagnate and retirement benefits shrink, forcing ordinary Americans to shoulder an ever-increasing share of the tax burden and rising medical costs. An enlightening assessment of this current financial disparity is carried in this Sunday’s New York Times, 6/5/05.
It might be interesting instead of contacting only Democrats, to begin an e-mail campaign to some of the more moderate Senators – – Warner, Snowe, Collins, Lugar come to mind. By suggesting that our national well being hangs in the balance and that it cannot be sustained as it is currently being managed it may be possible to reach some folks on ‘the other side of the aisle’ who are still open to rational thought and who may be willing to stand on principle.
As President Eisenhower said in his 1953 inaugural: “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.” Maybe someone will listen.

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