Two new articles I co-wrote have just been posted. One is at TomDispatch, about the Iraq investigations Congress should do, but won’t without pressure:
As humorist Bob Harris enjoys saying about the Bush administration, “It’s like a new Watergate every day with these people.” Congress could probably spend three decades profitably examining the last six years of the Bush administration. Unfortunately, they’ll have to do severe triage to select the areas of malfeasance where investigations will most benefit the country…
All these investigations are badly needed, not just for the sake of accountability but because the truth will end the war. Bush can continue his crusade only because most of the grim reality of Iraq remains in the shadows. Dragging it out into the sunlight is up to us.
The other, about how progressives should be thinking about the potential of networked volunteers, is at Tompaine.com:
One of the most remarkable, unexpected developments of the Internet has been the explosive growth of Wikipedia . At first glance, the Wikipedia conceptâ€”that thousands upon thousands of volunteers working with little central supervision can create a huge databank of accurate informationâ€”seems untenable. And yet the Wikipedia bumblebee flies anyway…
Politics, of course, usually boils down to the many versus the few. The conservative movement has always been able to raise large amounts of money from a relatively small number of sources. This money translates in turn into a relatively small number of peopleâ€”politicians, lobbyists, think tank denizens, PR expertsâ€”paid to spend large amounts of time advancing the conservative project.
By contrast, we have the numbers on our side, but not many multimillionaires like Richard Mellon Scaife. What the web has done is allow progressives to start leveling the monetary playing field, by aggregating small donations from many sources.
This is an extremely encouraging development. But what may be just as important is to find ways to advance progressive goals by aggregating many small donations of time.
You may ask: does it gratify me to promote my writing for TomDispatch and TomPaine.com on the site of Tom Tomorrow? Yes…yes it does.