Andrew Marvell and That Chariot
Beethoven's Fifth and Seventh, conducted by Carlos Kleiber

Ridiculous Headline of the Week

From the New York Times:

DeSantis Says He Would Pass a Bill to ‘Supersede’ Obamacare

I'm not even bothering with a link, just as I didn't bother clicking on the headline. I wouldn't have been able to read it, and in this case the headline is the story.

I hope I don't have to tell you what's wrong with it. Was it written by an intern who never had a civics class? Who knows?

There's a serious matter behind this, though. Far too many Americans have no real idea of how our system works, still less how it's meant to work, and don't really care. They think they are ruled by one person--whoever has the presidency--and the idea doesn't bother them. They don't want self-government. They want to be ruled by a benevolent despot who will take care of them. I cringe every time I hear someone say "Obama gave us" or "Trump gave us" or "Biden gave us" some desirable thing, frequently one over which the president has little or no control. 

I wrote about this at some length a year and a half or so ago.


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It really is frustrating that people think the president has power that really belongs to the shadowy oligarchs controlling him.

Rule by techno-oligarchs = "our democracy"

Perhaps the problem is not so much civics as grammar. I understand that the passive voice is quickly dying in US English. So, the headline may have been put in the passive voice in the past, but now people think that a construction such as this headline can convey a passive sense. "he would have a bill passed...."

Several presidential elections ago, I taught a co-op civics class in which the students all thought that president = autocrat. I*thought* it was just because they were middle schoolers.

Robert, I might accept that explanation/excuse if (1) it wasn't the NYT and (2) it didn't express a view which I know is very widely held. Especially, as Anne-Marie's comment shows, among younger people, who might be expected to be the ones writing headlines.

Anne-Marie, that doesn't surprise me at all. Even much older people effectively see it that way. It's kind of an unspoken implication in a whole lot of political journalism and other discussion. Trump showed signs of thinking that way himself, as did most of his opposition, like the guy I knew who started posting pictures of Holocaust survivors when Trump was elected, with the implication of "it's happening again."

DeSantis and Rick Scott are also fighting the BCS over Florida State's exclusion travesty

?? You just needed to vent about that? :-) As a Florida native?

Just another important thing the Florida governor is working on, Mac! :-)

Oh right, I forgot De Santis is the subject of the headline.

I sympathize with FSU but they’re rather overboard with their outrage. It was not an unreasonable decision. I’m looking forward to seeing how FSU does against Georgia.

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