Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Democracy inaction

James Galbraith doesn't know if the election in Ukraine was stolen, no matter what Colin Powell, Richard Lugar, and Zbigniew Brzezinski say. "But," Galbraith writes, "if the Ukraine standard were applied in Ohio -- as it should be -- then the late lamented U.S. election certainly was stolen."

He continues:

So where is the press? Why aren't there more stories on Ohio? Why is there no national pressure for a prompt statewide recount? Why no continuing outcry? Why no demand -- as our friends are making with strong American support in Ukraine -- that the election results in Ohio be set aside and a new vote held? Why has our election, with all its thuggery, been forgotten just three weeks after it occurred?

One reason, of course, is that the U.S. government gives direction in these matters, here at home as well as around the world. And our press, like that in "Putin's Russia," follows suit. Our political leaders, if one could call them that, stay silent and move on. They are terrified of being mocked and bullied by the press.

Another reason is that in Ohio, pissed-off voters are well behaved. They are working the hearings process, the recount process and the unhearing, unseeing courts. In Kiev, by contrast, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators are on the streets, staying there overnight in the bitter cold, bringing the government to a halt and the world to attention.

We'll get our democracy back, one of these days, when the Democratic Party has a mass base and is prepared to use it in the same way.