Raznor's Rants

Costarring Raznor's reality-based friends!

Friday, February 07, 2003

Who's asking the important questions? Where are they going to ask them?

A Washington Post editorial notes that Bush hasn't been too forthcoming to the press to put it lightly.

The president has not held a solo news conference since Nov. 7. He appears before a small group of reporters at times when he meets with foreign leaders, as he did for 13 minutes on Friday with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Bush allowed a total of six questions, three to each leader, from U.S. and British reporters. On other occasions, he takes a few questions from reporters for a few minutes. He has given a few long interviews to selected journalists -- two of whom were Washington Post reporters working on journalistic reconstructions of the periods immediately after the 2000 election and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But the president has been able to make his case for war to the public in these last crucial and escalating months essentially without the press being able to mount any serious, concentrated follow-up questioning.

Also, out on the blogosphere, courtesy of Ruminate This, we learn the following:

After Colin Powell spoke to the UN Security Council yesterday, a bi-partisan bill was introduced in Congress by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Ron Paul (R-TX). It wasn't just any bill - this is legislation that looks to repeal the Iraq Use of Force Resolution passed by Congress in October.

If you're wonkish about these things, you might recall that similar legislation was put forward a couple of weeks ago by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX). It didn't get more than a mention here or there in the press, but it's important to note that DeFazio and Paul's bill is different. Jackson's "sense of the Congress" bill, if passed would have taken the body's "temperature" on the issue. That's all.

DeFazio and Paul's effort goes beyond the thermometer. Faced with the administration's Rush to War, DeFazio and Paul are looking for a prescription. If they were to get this one passed, the outcome would be legally binding, and the October bill then outright repealed. Congress could at that point thoughtfully revisit the issue of Iraq - the danger it presents and the costs of war.

But where was the media? DeFazio and Paul attempted to hold a press conference announcing the bill, but no one came. They were too busy covering Powell's iron tight case for war against Iraq to bother reporting that maybe, just maybe, someone might disagree with the Bushies' world view.

Both of these stories represent the current problem with the state of affairs, which is that the administration has zero-accountability. Take the State of the Union Address, Bush went over all his policies so much he forgot to mention the, oh, STATE OF THE UNION. Meanwhile the absolutely left-wing biased pundits decided to focus on whether or not Bush made his case against Iraq, which of course makes way to no new debate, because Bush just gave a rehash of all his old arguments. "If Saddam had the means to attack New York with a nucular missile, and he really wanted to, and either he could afford to do so diplomatically, or thought he could, or didn't care, then Saddam would nuke New York. Plain and simple." How can you argue with that?

But in the meanwhile, Bush does not take the American public at all seriously. And for that matter, neither does anyone in Washington. It's agree with Bush, or be ignored. The idea that Americans are thinking people capable of making their own decisions. As this article pointed out, an anti-war protest featuring hundreds of thousands of people didn't have a single politician attend it. You'd think that a politician would be a little more enterprising than that, noting that if they become the political voice of the anti-war faction, that's a hell of a lot of free votes. But instead, these people continue to be ignored.

But, Bush, you're about to send us into a war, a lot of Americans could die from this, either as soldiers, or from newly inspired terrorist attacks. If you're going to sentence us to death, at least give us some semblance of respect before you do.

[Note: this last paragraph in case George W Bush actually reads this blog, and you know he does.]


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