Put the “Diss” in “Dissent”

On last night's Daily Show, we were treated to clips of actual British citizens accusing Tony Blair of lying—in person. These were in glaring contrast to clips of Bush's Soviet-style Privatalooza stops, in which Bush-lovers brown-nosed the president. To some extent, it's a false comparison, but so what? What's unnerving is that not only do average American citizens not get to confront Our Beloved Leader (may his oxen remain strong and his kine yield vatfuls of milk!), but even our Washington journalists are (apparently) too cowed to do so at a press conference.

This country is like an office: All discourse is governed by a protocol of seemly formality, in which plain language is verboten, when what's needed is the reverse. Forget party affiliation. Forget ideology. Presidents and Congressmen should be greeted with hoots and jeers, and their obvious lies with laughter. When Bush (or any politician) lies during an interview, the reporter should guffaw and reply, "Do I look stupid? Are you listening to yourself? How can you talk that way and have any respect for the people you purport to govern?" Because, clearly, they don't.

I know it's just wishful thinking. But what's not is this: Confront the bastards with their own words. They're in the public record. All you have to do is look. Oh, and open your mouth and speak.

(By the way, Mr. President, we'd really appreciate it if you'd be kind enough to answer Rep. Conyers' questions about that Blair memo that nobody in the national media is talking about....)

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