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System Correction

Sometimes we can find laughs in obscure places. An example would be the "Corrections" section of a newspaper, particularly one of those high and mighty ones like the Washington Post or New York Times.

Take this item in the Thursday Washpost:

"A Nightclubs listing in the March 5 Weekend section misstated the name of a band performing Thursday at J.V.'S Restaurant in Falls Church. The band is Johnny and the Rebels, not Johnny and the Relics".

And here I thought the band maybe played Classic Rock. Or maybe, here in the nation's capitol, it was a group of big time players in government and politics. Because this is certainly the place to find relics.

Take the Supremes. No, not the singing group...that's what those of us who are among the DC hip call the justices of the Supreme Court. Maybe, come to think of it, that's who the Post meant by "Johnny (Chief Justice John Roberts) and the Relics".

Not that the Judicial branch is one, but certainly the views of Roberts and his SCOTUS legal rationales would..they speak the language of modern mores like Latin does. The corporate campaign finance ruling that inspired the Sam Alito sideshow at the State of the Union address is just one case in point.

For that matter, we can probably put the State of the Union tradition into the "Relic" file. If it ever did serve any purpose it certainly doesn't anymore. All it really does these days is offer a showcase into a system that clings to out-of-touch ways that have been so distorted by modern day hustlers that nothing could possibly be accomplished.


The problem is the ones needed to make the change are the very ones who benefit from keeping things they way they are now. They have dug themselves in so deeply that they are as entrenched as the calcified set up they refuse to update.

It means not only that solving modern day problems has become impossible, but that the people who are supposed to matter in a democracy feel like they don't anymore. With plenty of justification.

To be fair, we should include those of us in Newsbiz, who find it far too comfortable to perpetuate the status quo with. Much has been made about "Mainstream Media" have also become relics, and it has less to do with technology and more to do with our predictable focus on boring irrelevant blah-blah-blah.

So what we do to extricate ourselves from obsolescence? It's too easy to say we should jettison everything. On the one hand, we should forcibly move ahead, but we should do so thoughtfully.

We need to consider the benefits of our traditions. Filibusters, for instance, so vilified because they thwart the will of the majority in the Senate, also protect against the "Tyranny of the Majority", which may have become a cliche, but it's not a relic. We need to make sure we leave in some barriers against mob rule. Those protections have insured a remarkable stability for our nation.

So now comes the hard part: We can't let reform mean wreckage. But we can't stay attached to anachronisms. They belong in a museum that marks the past, while we create revised ways to address the future that are sensible and don't make things worse. If we don't make that correction, the entire country is in danger of becoming a relic.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 11, 2010 1:22 PM.

The previous post in this blog was The DC Tickle Fight.

The next post in this blog is Cheney: The Liz Mob.

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