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March 01, 2006

A Simple Proposal

Here's a simple yet powerful proposal that some lovely Democratic Congresscritters might consider introducing as a bill in Congress. 

Require that there be a simple 1-2 hour ceremony on the first working day of each month in one of the Chambers of Congress.  On large TV screens the Congresscritters would see photographs of the men and women who've died in Afghanistan and Iraq during these wars - in total silence. Each time they would see all the photos, one after another, all of them, from the beginning of the wars. 

They aren't required to attend but nothing else gets scheduled at that time. I do bet the media would film them on their way in and out.

They can use a compendium of the clips that the PBS "NewsHour" runs a couple times a week. At the end of the show, maybe twice a week, they run 13 or 9 or 17 or 7 photos; next to each photo is the person's name, rank and arm of the military, town/city, and age.  That's it.  They go by slowly enough that you get a little sense of what their life was.  Then the next one comes up.  And the next. 

I have forced myself to watch these last few minutes of the show since the "NewsHour" first started running them in late 2001 or early 2002.  I probably have seen half of them.  I put down my laptop if I've been checking blogs while watching.  I stop exercising if that's what I was doing.  I resist the urge to go start dinner.  I watch. 

I feel it's the least I can do.  It's very powerful.

I don't think the Republicans would go for this bill but it's a no-lose proposition.  If it passes, people would actually have to watch and acknowledge what they are doing.  It might bring a needed solemnity to what they do in those halls.  If it doesn't pass, the Democrats look good and the Republicans look like idiots.

Cross-posted at mydd.


Posted by Lynn Allen on March 1, 2006 at 08:53 PM in National and International Politics | Permalink


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