Wednesday December 17, 2014
Archive - 2014
The name Ferguson should become shorthand for dehumanization.
On a warm October night toward the end of the 2014 campaign, almost every politician running for a major office here in the swing state of Colorado appeared at a candidate forum in southeast Denver. The topics discussed were pressing: a potential war with ISIS, voting rights, a still-struggling economy. But one key element was in conspicuously short supply: the media.
President Barack Obama is now officially a lame duck: no more elections left, and facing GOP majorities in the Senate, House, governors' mansions - and even the Supreme Court, in a sense, where five of the nine justices were appointed by Republicans. But that doesn't mean he is powerless. In fact, looking back on two-term presidents reveals that much of what we believe about lame-duck commanders in chief may not hold up.
It's a mistake to be nostalgic for some golden age in politics when everyone was nice to each other. Such a time never existed.
Still, this is a particularly rotten moment to be an elected official, and especially a member of Congress, a body whose ratings are even lower than those of journalists. If you run for office these days, all your mistakes (and some you never made) are broadcast widely in some horrible TV spot.
Never one to shun the spotlight, New York Sen. Charles Schumer made himself the center of attention this week by delivering a scathing critique of recent Democratic Party political strategy, including his blunt view that it was disastrous to push for health-care reform early in President Obama's first term.
Earlier this week, the Environmental Protection Agency announced proposed regulations to curb emissions of ozone, which causes smog, not to mention asthma, heart disease and premature death. And you know what happened: Republicans went on the attack, claiming that the new rules would impose enormous costs.
Lawlessness happens when the law breaks down. That sounds like a tautology. It's not.
Haven't heard much about Obamacare lately? There's a good reason for that. Because most of the news about Obamacare is good news, and Republicans don't want to talk about good news. Neither do the media.
In covering the violence engulfing Ferguson, Missouri, media routinely cite the following numbers to explain the frustration of the minority community there:
Ferguson's population is two-thirds African-American, yet the mayor, five of the six City Council members and nearly the entire police force are white.
The world's wrath and revulsion seem to be focused on Bill Cosby these days, as he goes in the public mind from "America's Dad" to an unofficial serial rape suspect.