Friday, April 20, 2007
Frogs in Hot Water
A frog placed in a pot of water that is slowly heated to the point of boiling will stay in that pot with no attempt to escape until it is too late. The current Republican administration and its minions in Congress and the judiciary have placed our system of government in precisely the analogous situation as that frog in the pot. The questions that must be asked now are 1) Is it already too late to get out of the pot? and 2) How much hotter does the pot have to get to allow voters to recognize (and respond to and avert) the potential disaster? First, a seemingly irrelevant observation; we are captives to 'in the moment' events such as Imus, the Virginia Tech shootings, Barry Bonds' steroid usage, the Super Bowl, American Idol and others such as to divert our much needed attention to what is happening before our very eyes. These narcotizing events dim our abilities to see, analyze and properly respond to events which are proceeding on the calamitous course of suborning our democratic system of government. To go on and on and detail the litany of acts of our current administration would begin to sound like partisan grumbling, but suffice it to say that the pattern of these efforts is clear. To present two egregious examples, the American public has allowed our president to lie to us about the justification for starting a war and, thus far, there have been no serious attempts to hold Bush or his minions accountable for that behavior. The water was apparently too lukewarm and bathed in security blanket rhetoric. Evidence that the temperature has indeed heated up is demonstrated by the current expose' of administration efforts to turn the federal judicial system into a weapon of the Republican party. Communications professors Donald Shields and John Cragan have found that, since Bush took office, U.S. attorneys have investigated or indicted 298 Democratic officeholders and only 67 Republicans. Where is the outrage? Compare the lack of response against an attack against one of the very fundamental principles underlying our system of government with the rage against Imus that has dominated the airwaves for a couple of weeks only to be replaced by the Virginia Tech massacre as the object of our collective attentions. We must act to safeguard the fundamental principles and framework of our government. We must do it now. It's getting hot in here. Let's get the hell out of this hot water.