With a plethora of appropriations bills outstanding, an overhaul of the intelligence community to be discussed (per the 9/11 Commission recommendations) and other bit of needed legislation, what is Congress spending time on this week? Gay marriage. Again. The bill failed in the Senate, but the House is taking it up. Also? A bill that overruled the Washington DC city council's ban on handguns. GOP Congressional leadership are full aware that the Senate is not expected to take up either bill during the final weeks of the 108th Congress.
So not only are GOP Congressmen telling DC residents that their own elected officials are not allowed to set policy, not only are GOP Congressmen engaging in more hate-fueled legislation designed to keep people who love each other from marrying, but they're doing all off this while more pressing matters need tending to. The sole reason these bills have come up for vote is election-time politics -- they want to make Democratic representatives vote for things they might ordinarily vote against in hopes of using the votes during the final weeks of the election.
All this on top of a presidential debate that is nothing more than a press conference, with ridiculous rules that do more to limit the free flow of ideas than to give us valuable insight into the candidates and their policies.
Is it any ownder that people are fed up, thinking that our democracy has become a dead fish, rotting from the head and soon to smell all the way down? There is hope, of course, bright spots, such as Howard Dean's Democracy for America grassroots movement. But whether or not we connect to a movement, we all need to stand up and hold our elected officials to account. Some would say that it's unpatriotic to question our leaders when in fact it is the very essence of democracy to do so.