Category: democracy

Gingrich would bend the judiciary to his will

By Alan Bean

Over at Talk To Action, Rob Boston gives Newt Gingrich a stern caning for wanting to make the judiciary the lap dog of Congress.  It is hard for all of us to live with judicial opinions that vary considerably from our vision of the good; but that’s just part of living in a constitutional democracy.  It is also hard to abide presidential priorities different from our own, and, if we support the sitting president, it’s tough to watch a recalcitrant Congress derail good policy.  But again, that’s part of the American experience.  The only alternative, as Mr. Boston suggests, is to scuttle our entire system of government.

Friends of Justice wants to throw a monkey wrench into the machinery of mass incarceration, but the criminal justice reform movement won’t succeed until we change the climate of opinion.  Only when the electorate is clearly on the side of change will politicians opt for sane alternatives to the wholesale warehousing of humankind.  No one can undo the errors of others (real or imagined) by executive fiat; we must work within the system we have inherited, warts and all. 

American style democracy ain’t perfect, Lord knows, but true conservatives like Winston Churchill appreciate the miracle of an abiding political consensus to which all parties willingly submit even when they hate the results the system is producing.

Judicial Constraint: The Far Right Pushes For Rubber-Stamp Courts

By Rob Boston

It is my sad duty today to give yet another basic civics lesson to the far right. (more…)

Moyers’ final word: “Plutocracy and democracy don’t mix”

By Alan Bean

Bill Moyers is the Edward R. Murrow of our day.  When his PBS program, Bill Moyers’ Journal, went off the air last year, a gaping hole appeared in American journalism that has yet to be filled.  Fortunately, in the last edition of his program, Moyers shared his bias: “plutocracy and democracy don’t mix.”

This message lies at the heart of the Occupy movement.

The text of Moyers’ brief essay appears below and you can find the video at Nation of Change

Plutocracy and Democrary Don’t Mix

Bill Moyers

You’ve no doubt figured out my bias by now. I’ve hardly kept it a secret. In this regard, I take my cue from the late Edward R. Murrow, the Moses of broadcast news.

Ed Murrow told his generation of journalists bias is okay as long as you don’t try to hide it. So here, one more time, is mine: plutocracy and democracy don’t mix. Plutocracy, the rule of the rich, political power controlled by the wealthy. (more…)