As you might have guessed, I'm pretty cynical--but always hopeful. Actually I'm hopeful about this fall's elections--might the Bush administration lose its rubber stamp congressional majority in one or both houses of congress? What might this mean for health care, the environment, investigations into executive wrongdoing? These are questions that might actually motivate some of the apathetic and disenchanted citizens out there to vote, get informed, get involved, and be active. Here in the Illinois 15th Congressional District we actually have a home-grown, nice guy progressive democrat (Dr. David Gill) challenging a dull, career republican incumbent who supports Bush when push comes to shove (Tim Johnson).
So how does NPR's morning edition deal with this critical juncture of congress reconvening? With a glibness that is really disheartening. Steve Inskeep asks Brian Naylor, "...do you like this season..." to which Naylor responds, "Yeah it’s fun; this is where it gets down to the real politcal nitty gritty—these guys are all worried about their election; the climate seems very much against the republican majority and so there’s going to be a lot of scrambling and a lot of rhetoric and it’s going to fun to watch..."
Fun to watch!
Then when Inskeep notes, but "there are real issues to discuss—what’s on the agenda?" Naylor states that defense and security will be at the core of debate and then goes on to note how republicans will try to make democrats look weak on defense and security and democrats will try to embarass the White House by seeking a vote of "No Confidence" in Rumsfeld.
That's really about all we get. It's too bad because there could be a lot of ground covered to inform people about how corrupt the defense and security spending is in congress or how the military industrial complex threatens the institutions of our republic (read Chalmer Johnson's Sorrow's or Empire for a good primer on this).
On the other hand maybe that's too much to ask...