The Washington Post Has Misgivings About Democracy When It Impedes the Left

August 23rd, 2023 3:09 PM

Legacy journalists are upset about the decline of what they call "democracy"(™). They whine about Supreme Court power, small states electing senators or simply that they can’t change the Constitution as easily as their side wants. The Washington Post is so frustrated that it launched a series digging into the issue, calling it "IMPERFECT UNION."

The Post headlined its more than 2,900-word piece, "American democracy is cracking. These forces help explain why." But the reasons why Posties were angry were entirely predictable. The article said the issues date "to the writing of the Constitution."

Of course. There is nothing the "Democracy Dies in Darkness" newspaper mistrusts more than the Founding Fathers with all their icky freedoms and parchment.

At least, this particular piece didn’t attack the founders as "enslavers." The Post used another major project to do that back in January. This one focused on the standard leftist complaints:

  • How "representation in the House based on population and in the Senate based on equal standing for the states";
  • "[T]he odd system by which we elect presidents;"
  • "[A]nd lifetime appointments for Supreme Court justices.

The heart of the problem? "The result is that today, a minority of the population can exercise outsize influence on policies and leadership, leading many Americans increasingly to feel that the government is a captive of minority rule." "Many Americans" is news code for the liberal friends of Post staffers and the staffers themselves.

Odd how this complaint surfaces now and not when then-President Bill Clinton won two elections without winning a majority. Heck, the first one earned him just 43% of the vote. Talk about "minority rule."

Readers might well recognize this fine whine from the many other leftist screeds against the Supreme Court, the Constitution, the national anthem and more. The New York Times, Washington Post, ProPublica, Vox, The Atlantic all regurgitate attacks on our current form of government because … Republicans win sometimes.

Even the Times explains, "Democrats used to criticize the Supreme Court respectfully. Increasingly, they see the court as irredeemable." And another article admitted the Democrat solution: "Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Death Revives Talk of Court Packing." I’ve gotta wonder, why play fair when you can cheat?

The Times magazine ran a similar argument in a special section devoted to "How to Fix the Supreme Court" in October 2020. It included eight opinion pieces calling for everything from "(Threaten) to Pack the Courts" and "Pack the Courts" to creating a new, international court to overrule the existing Supreme Court and "decide constitutional questions." Only one piece argued to keep things the same. 

Not to mention, Times opinion writer Jamelle Bouie’s quest to change the Constitution. He doesn’t even like states being involved. "The Real Threat to Freedom Is Coming From the States," he wrote. So much for Justice Louis Brandeis’s idea that the states are "laboratories" for democracy.

The latest Post article is just a litany of similar leftist gripes. How "four of the nine current justices on the Supreme Court were confirmed by senators who represent a minority of the U.S. population," for example. 

In the future, perhaps we should ask Supreme Court justices to just resign when Democrats control the Senate. I’m sure they will oblige, even though the late Justice Ginsburg refused to step down despite exactly those liberal demands. 

The Post continues, declaring "the situation now is dire" and noting how only 31% of Americans are confident in our government. 

The paper doesn’t seem to consider that there might be good reason for that distrust – FBI agents harassing traditional Catholics, government shutting down the economy during COVID-19 or 91 charges against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. 

Nah, none of that. Just leftist whiners.

You can’t blast the entire political system without experts. The Post turned to Henry Brady, "professor of political science and public policy at the University of California at Berkeley." Of course, far-left Berkeley. He told the paper: "I’m terrified," and added, "I think we are in bad shape, and I don’t know a way out."

This is the same Brady that the Berkeley News quoted March 27, 2019, advocating for the end of the Electoral College, another liberal goal. "My basic take is that the Electoral College is a totally vestigial institution," he said. Odd, I’d say the same about Berkeley.

The Post article also turned to "historian Jill Lepore, who directs the Amendments Project at Harvard University." That bio left out her role as a staff writer to the leftist New Yorker. Lepore is open about wanting more amendments to the Constitution.

She wrote a piece for the Times in October calling for that very reality. While she isn’t specific about what amendments she wants, she isn’t subtle either. "To repair Senate malapportionment, for instance, you’d have to get a constitutional amendment through that malapportioned Senate." 

Ah yes, end the compromise that gives smaller states representation so big states can rule the country in the House and Senate.

Nice and neutral.

The Post piece plays fast and loose with the parts of history it includes or leaves out. It notes that, while the "Civil War is an obvious exception," "overall, government generally functioned, even if not perfectly."

Wow, that glosses over a lot that is upsetting to every side – the riots of the 1960s, the lost Vietnam War, endless war in the Mideast, including the questionable motivation for Iraq War II. And then there’s the two-decades-long failure in Afghanistan. How about the almost non-stop leftist/BLM riots during 2020/2021? Our unenforced border. Or globalization and the hollowing out of American jobs.

It never occurs to the Post that people might be cynical about the U.S. government because it’s not well run. Something self-evident to anyone who lives outside the Washington Beltway or college campuses. That means ordinary voters. Not ivory-tower inmates.

Even when Americans have figured things out, the Post is unhappy. "In more than half of the states, the dominant party enjoys a supermajority, which means they can override vetoes by a governor of a different party or generally have their will on legislation."

So, Americans increasingly are self-sorting, going to states where their political views are respected. The Post can’t stand that. It wants complete leftist control.

Naturally, the article ends with the real crisis – the Constitution. (Cue dramatic music!) "But the U.S. Constitution, though written to be amended, has proved to be virtually impossible to change." That might be a problem if both sides wanted to amend the document the same way.

They don’t. Even the Post admits it. "Nor is there cross-party agreement on what ails the system. Many conservatives are satisfied with the status quo and say liberals want to change the rules for purely partisan reasons." Surprising no one, that’s why we haven’t amended it.

The left’s phony push for so-called "democracy" has been going on for several years. But the legacy media need to ramp it up to motivate their side to vote for a barely functional person as president. 

The whole game is reminiscent of how authoritarian nations like North Korea call themselves "democratic, as in "the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea" Like with North Korea, the Post doesn’t really want democracy. It wants power.

That’s been the left’s solution across the board. Change the Senate make-up, modify how elections are done. Anything to push the GOP out of power.

Cross-posted from