We’re pointing a gun at our democracy

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Let’s demand an end to partisan sideshows or media witch hunts: It turns out that the leaked White House Benghazi e-mails which allegedly show a coverup of a terrorist attack were themselves altered. Those e-mails are, in a word, bogus

Next up on the playbill: The Department of Justice secretly obtained dozens of reporters’ phone records because of a serious security leak. The double contradictory shell game we’re supposed to believe: Obama is not in charge and he has his finger in every pot.

This bamboozling of the American people obscures the main point: How do we safeguard American lives and respect our freedoms at the same time? Maybe working together — Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals — the Media Shield Law, a solution to the problem, can be passed.

Both the Democrats and Republicans have run roughshod over our separation of powers. Both parties have misused and abused their constitutional powers. Democrats blocked, again and again, President Bush’s nominees for federal judges. Today, Republicans aren’t just blocking Obama’s judicial nominees, they’re blocking the Senate from considering laws and blocking Cabinet appointees necessary for the federal government to run.

Why should we allow any political party or personality to render our government unable to govern?

On 9/11 terrorists attacked the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and tried to attack the U.S. Capitol building in order to destroy our institutions, our economic strength, our military and our democratic Congress where “the people rule.”

But in our partisan self-righteousness, we’re destroying our foundations of government more effectively than al Qaeda ever could. Whether it’s the media or the politicians, the churning of partisan passion into anger, indeed hate, has an ulterior purpose: If Obama’s administration is constantly engaged in fighting for its existence, the governing comes to a halt, and his agenda will go nowhere.

Aiming for that and little if nothing else weakens and harms our democratic institutions, both Congress and the presidency. Remember, Obama was elected by a bigger margin than George W. Bush. He deserves to have his appointees, and he deserves to have votes on the issues, to have the government function, and to fight for the policies on which he was elected. By allowing problems to become scandals and scandals to become demagoguery, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot.

If it keeps up, we will all be complicit in weakening our democracy.

Editor’s note: Donna Brazile, a CNN contributor and a Democratic strategist, is vice chairwoman for voter registration and participation at the Democratic National Committee. She is a nationally syndicated columnist, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and author of “Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pot in America.” She was manager for the Gore-Lieberman presidential campaign in 2000.

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