"Zenith" cont.

Rachel's post illustrates the latest brazen declaration of open season on the United States by the executive. "Zenith of his powers" is just absurd. The Bush guys are counting on a lack of opposition, and they're probably right. And it's also yet another opening for a Democrat to say: "This is broken. This should stop immediately. What's going on here is something other than democracy. We need to completely rewrite the political process, because at every level, this thing isn't accountable."

Part of my sympathy for these Democrats in DC is that it's getting harder and harder to sound like anything close to political opposition without sounding totally revolutionary. They keep coming to the edge, and they're afraid to jump. Even Elizabeth Holtzman and Al Gore won't jump. Or maybe they just aren't equipped to say it. What I heard out of them was call to return to some status quo imagined glory days of the recent past.

To refresh, Holtzman's solutions for this mess were: Impeach Bush to "protect our constitutional system and preserve our democracy," and elect a Democratic majority to Congress. Gore's speech called for an independent counsel to investigate the wiretapping, new whistleblower protections, serious congressional hearings, reform of the Patriot act, and laws regulating telecoms giving over private information the. Gore at least called for Congress to "start acting like the independent and co-equal branch of government you're supposed to be."

In my mind it's just preposterous to expect Congress to be representative of the people's will when there are only 535 representatives in a country of 300,000,000. It's just laughable. And cryable too, I suppose.

No, seriously. How can it be said with a straight face that one Rep for every 700,000 amounts to direct representation? It can't. Would 9,000 in the House do it for you? Not for me. And where that conversation leads, no one really knows, because no one ever talks about it. "Where we go" is an ontological problem -- as in few ideas exist that get at this.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close