Sunday, February 11, 2007


Parade of Liars: the Ruling Class Run Amuck

With each day that passes with war and sectarian violence raging in Iraq and Democrats and Republicans in the Congress debating (or shutting down debate on) non-binding resolutions, it becomes more and more evident that the Congress is - though now ostensibly in the hands of a Democratic majority - powerless to oppose the functional dictatorship of George W. Bush.

The talking heads on the Sunday shows are nothing more than waifs and apparitions, lacking resolve to oppose the efforts of the administration, opting instead for symbolistic posturing and hyperbole over outright opposition in congruence with the will of the people.

Maudlin would be the most apropos term to describe the ongoing dialogue between elected officials on both sides of the aisle. It makes a travesty of the truth, becomes an abrogation of trust and appears to be the end of democracy as we have known it.

After the mandatory Iraq talk, all of the shows devolve into debating the relative merits of the 2008 presidential candidates as though that is an issue of any import with the first primaries 11 months ahead and the actual presidential election nearly two years in the future.

It's as though all that matters is the political news cycle, not actual legislation or policy, but the silly popularity contest of presidential politics and the monotonous drone of debate without consequence.

It is because of this sorrowful and sickening malaise, this disservice to the citizenry of the United States, that I have decided to make this Sunday Talk Show Scorecard the last, and instead devote the efforts of this blog to exposing the abject failure of government, the hypocrisy of both the left and the right (though currently mostly the left), and promoting the ideals of democracy and self-determination by denouncing the monstrous lies of the federal government.

Having been a regular viewer of the Sunday shows for many years, it's evident that these shows, as currently produced and configured, are designed to tantalize and placate the populace, not inform nor educate.

It's obvious from our scoreboard these past 4 months that the best one could hope for in this environment of public fear and official impotence would be a balance of voices from the left and the right, but the left, in the persona of elected officials, is not representative of progressive views. Instead of Thom Hartmann, David Korn, Al Gore, Dennis Kucinich, and Paul Craig Roberts, we are fed steady doses of the likes of Steny Hoyer, Joe Biden, John Kerry, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton.

Those who pontificate from the right are so far removed from the travails of ordinary people as to be wholly worthless. Their views are so poignantly opposed to the public good that in another time - a better time - they would all have been in shackles by now.

These elected types - the ruing class - have not the interest of their constituents in mind. They share one interest, that being job security through election and re-election. The ruling class, as has been proven by legislation passed over the past six years, are ineffectual, intellectually dishonest, greedy, petty, lazy, elitist, obstructionist, arrogant in their disregard and disinterest in the welfare of the citizenry, close-minded, craven and ultimately self-interested to the point of being hazardous to the very people they were elected to serve.

The American people have few good choices remaining to them as our democracy is shorn to little indiscernible pieces and the Constitution is trampled under the jack boot of the corporatists at the head of government. We have seen what is produced by overthrowing the majority: a new majority which preens and postures and poses, and does nothing. Surely, the tactic of voting for change has provided only false hope and great disillusionment.

We can criticize and cajole the ruling class, express our wishes in poll after poll, but those wishes, wants and desires go unheard, our hopes and dreams shattered on the hard granite steps of the Capitol before ever reaching the ears of those who promise change.

We can, however, excel the ruling class in one regard. We can become oblivious to their laws and pronouncements and carry on our lives without heed to their autocratic, undemocratic and essentially unrepresentative decrees, regulations, fees and taxes.

Surely, we cannot completely disregard the established laws of the land, but we can act in concert and individually to thwart the imperial obsessions of a rigid tyranny. No law is so absolute that it cannot be debated and repealed, no tax so universal that cannot be avoided nor diminished, no regulation so binding that cannot be overruled.

Citizens of the United States of America deserve better representation than is now being afforded to them. We have already demanded this and have received little more than polite lip service. It is past the time for debate, past demands unanswered, past acceptance of the status quo. It is time for a second American revolution.

We are oppressed by a seemingly-benign government which stabs us in the back with incessant, excessive taxation to fill the coffers from which they steal and plunder. Always we are asked for more and given less. It's high time to turn the tables on the ruthless ruling class: give them less and demand more. We must demand - and receive - more accountability, more honesty, and ultimately more common sense legislation for the common good.

There are laws which need to be repealed or, at the least, amended. There are inequities which need to be corrected and issues of great import that need to be addressed wholly, openly and without invective or insult. There are lies which need to be exposed and leaders who need to lead from the font of public opinion, not from any particular political perspective.

The situation we face as a people is dire. It may not seem so on the surface, but the machinery of oppression has been at work, unchecked, for many years. And if it is allowed to continue in this manner, in a very short time we will have a country which very few of us will recognize.

I can find no better words to close than those which are not my own, but which should resonate with every American who stands for freedom:

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. -- John Philpot Curran

February 11 Sunday Talk Shows Scorecard

Week 14

Show Guests Score WeeKTotal Cum. Total* Cum. %**
Meet the Press (NBC) Reps. Steny Hoyer (D) and John Boehner (R) 1 1-2 12-35 34.29
Fox News Sunday (FOX) Senators Mitch McConnell (R) and Jack Reed (D), former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith (R) 1 1-3 15-37 40.54
This Week (ABC) SenatorJohn Kerry (D), presidential contender Mike Huckabee (R) 1 1-2 19-38 50.00
Face the Nation (CBS) Senators Chris Dodd (D) and Trent Lott (R) 1 1-2 11-27 40.74
Total for week, all shows (14 weeks) all guests 4 4-9 57-137 41.61

*Total of progressive/Democrat guests to total # of guests.
**Total percentage of shows beginning with Sunday, November 12, 2006.
Chart updated weekly each Sunday.

How well are the Sunday News Talk shows presenting the progressive/Democratic point-of-view?

We look at the guests each show offers and award them a point for every one that is either an elected Democrat or shares the values of the progressive left and a zero for every one that does not. Generally, Democratic party guests get a 1; Republicans and all others, a zero.

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