Benjamin Barber Hates Us for Our Freedom
In Which I Fall Down on the Job...

Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (David Broder of the Washington Post Edition)

The fact that David S. Broder has not been forcibly retired is one of the marvels of nature:

David S. Broder on Hurricane Katrina and George W. Bush, Sunday, September 4, 2005; B07

It took almost no time for President Bush to put his stamp on the national response to the tragedy that has befallen New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, a reminder that modern communications have reshaped the constitutional division of powers in our government in ways that the Founding Fathers never could have imagined.

Because the commander in chief is also the communicator in chief, when a crisis emerges the nation's eyes turn to him as to no other official. We cannot yet calculate the political fallout from Hurricane Katrina and its devastating human and economic consequences, but one thing seems certain: It makes the previous signs of political weakness for Bush, measured in record-low job approval ratings, instantly irrelevant and opens new opportunities for him to regain his standing with the public....

[F]or a president who believes that actions speak louder than words, this is an advantageous setting. By coincidence, the same day that the president flew back from vacation to take command of the hurricane response, a group of political observers was gathered two blocks from the White House to discuss the way in which Bush has come to dominate Congress.... The decline of oversight hearings on Capitol Hill reflects what many of the commentators called a loss of institutional pride in Congress. Majority Republicans see themselves first and foremost as members of the Bush team -- and do not want to make trouble by asking hard questions. Democrats find it more rewarding to raise campaign funds and cultivate their own constituencies.

The result is that a system of government in which... the lawmakers [of Congress] are thoroughly overshadowed by the magnified figure of the president...

What can one say, other than that a typical six-year-old has more insight into American politics?