THE CONGRESS: Nader's Bird Watchers

Attacking the U.S. Congress is a venerable enterprise. Back in 1906 David Graham Phillips wrote a series of savage attacks titled The Treason of the Senate. The series was so outrageous and inaccurate that it inspired President Theodore Roosevelt to decry it as "muckraking"; thus another word entered the American vernacular. But as bad as Phillips' articles were they played a major role in bringing about the constitutional amendment that provided for the popular election of Senators.

Whether Ralph Nader's much heralded study of the Congress will accomplish similar and much needed congressional overhauls remains to be seen, but the...

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