Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Low-Hanging Fruit

At first, anyone reading Dana Milbank's editorial on this disastrous meeting of the House defense appropriations subcommittee is going to be outraged. Here Secretary of Defense Gates is asking for better protection for soldiers in Afghanistan and there's Republican Bill Young holding it up because the funding would come from Humvees made in his district. The affected company is one of his biggest campaign contributors. And over there are a variety of congressman using the event as a soapbox for their own personal causes.

Won't somebody think about the soldiers!!!

And while this is emblematic of the dysfunction of our government, the article is the kind of lazy punditry that plagues op-ed pages around the nation. It's not that Milbank is wrong in criticizing this problem, but he completely ignores root causes--the lack of public campaign financing and the way corporations control our political system. Milbank could have written this same column and then ripped into the problems that create this scenario.

Instead, it's just another sleepy Congress is bad/Military is good dichotomy.