Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Sarah Palin Amendment

I don't think that James Fallows was entirely serious when he proposed this 28th Amendment to the Constitution:

"No Person shall be elected President or Vice President without accepting a session of questioning by the press, such session to last no less than one hour and to be open to normally accredited members of the press in the same fashion as at Presidential news conferences. The questioning shall occur and the results shall be made freely available to the public at least one week before an Election is held."

Three weeks to get it enacted.

I think a Sarah Palin Amendment would be a good idea. However, instead of just "accredited members of the press" why not members of the Congress and the Senate representing both parties and then a town hall with questioning members of the public selected based on a raffle? Make the campaigns a more formal process where candidates must be questioned by the opposition. The problem with the "accredited members of the press" qualification is that Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh might be enough to get Palin over that hurdle.

Palin shouldn't be allowed to get away with just doing one debate and canned rally speeches with a folksy pronunciation of phrases like "you betcha" and "doggone it" that makes her sound like a clone of Frances McDormand in the movie "Fargo" to get elected.


Anonymous said...

And who gets to decide what "the press" is? A fun orwellian tactic, that, to take the idea that anyone should be allowed to publish their political views, and turn it into this notion that media companies should have priveliges that others don't. All by an equivocation: certain companies calling themselves "the press" and claiming that that means the same thing as it does in the phrase "freedom of the press".

The representatives of the public are their elected members of congress (or parilament, as the case may be).

llewelly said...

We're talking about a press corps here that happily continued cheerleeding the idiotic invasion of Iraq, not only after Wilson's letter, but after Hans Blix found no WMDs, and then after Bush-appointed Charles Duelfer found no WMDs, after it was obvious that the Official Iraq Invasion Flower Parade had failed to materialize, and after the Johns Hopkins Boston School of Public Health study was published in the Lancet, showing the first 18 months of the invasion had an excess mortality cost of 90,000 human lives. Even after the second Johns Hopkins Boston School Public Health study was published showing 700,000 deaths by 2006, much of the press corp continued to put happy spin on the invasion, to play up the incompetent and preposterous estimates published by 'Iraq Body Count' as if they were somehow half so credible as the Lancet estimates.

In short - short of a major overhaul of the nation's press corps - the proposed amendment would not be sufficient to prevent another Sarah Palin. Although it would be nice to see her spend a little more time outside of Cheney's undisclosed location.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand's character in Fargo) would be a huge improvement on Sarah Palin.