Thursday, March 23, 2006

Atrios and others miss the point. Objectivity isn't a sham only because people aren't behaving the way as they should -though that's true enough- but because it's a fantasy. Objectivity is a sham and consensus isn't enough. That's why prosecutors don't double as defense attorneys.

I have little doubt that Liasson thinks she's being "objective", and she may be right that people give the president of the benefit of the doubt in any showdown with the press; but it's not her job to reinforce that behavior. It is, or should be, her job to defend the necessity of debate: to be biased in favor of the principle of adversarial relations, not only in relations of the press or the people to the government but among the people themselves.

The institutional leadership of this country, politically and culturally, Democratic and Republican, left and right, both corruptly and not, believes that democracy is as simple as giving the people what they want. Demagogues want the people ignorant; idealists assume the people already know the truth but are only kept silent by malign forces (Chomskyism is not Chomsky's invention).  Neither people nor politics are so simple.

It's the obligation of every citizen of a democracy to have opinions. Not having any is irresponsible, pretending not to is betrayal.

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