Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 20, 2003
POLITICS: Dean, The Blog
Starting here and scrolling down, you can catch some of Howard Dean's blog entries as guest blogger last week at Prof. Lawrence Lessig's blog. First of all, a nonpartisan hat's off to Dean; while most presidential candidates are too busy to do a running blog, it's a great way to showcase a candidate early in the race if it's taken seriously, and Dean appears to have tried to be genuinely responsive to feedback.
But then there's the substance of these posts. Where to begin?
People asked what can be done about media deregulation. I think we need to re-regulate the media that has clearly abused its authority by censoring information that should be made available to the American people.
Someone asked about the Patriot Act-we should repeal those parts that violate our constitution.
Well, it's good to see that Dean understands that we should repeal things that are unconstitutional, whereas our current president has been known to sign things into law (ahem, McCain-Feingold) that he thinks are unconstitutional, and leave the courts to do the dirty work. But I don't necessarily agree with Dean's selections:
I have real problems authorizing the FBI to obtain library and bookstore and video store records simply by claiming the information is “sought for” an investigation against international terrorism. It’s also clearly unconstitutional to detain indivduals and deny them access to a lawyer.
Frankly, the library thing just doesn't bother me that much. And it isn't "clearly unconstitutional" to deny counsel to non-citizens or to combatants in a war.
I believe that the only way we are ever going to come to a real solution on any of these issues is if we all stand together against the special interests in Washington. There are now 33 lobbyists for every member of congress. How do we change that? By working together.
Actually, working together is precisely how you attract lobbyists, who love the smell of bipartisanship in the morning. The only known way to get rid of lobbyists is to get the power over their interests out of Washington.
Facts are a better basis for decisions than ideology.
Ah, "competence, not ideology." Where have we heard that one before?