How many times have you been watching the news and heard a reporter/pundit say something like, "But don't expect anything to be done about it any time soon. After all, it's an election year."
Elections are purported to be this sacred ritual we're supposed to honor and participate in. Yet the skeptical tone of the "it's an election year" line tells you all you need to know about elections; sorry voters, can't expect anything practical this year. Why not? Because this year we're holding those holy elections you're conditioned to revere!
Leaving aside what this says about the fatal flaws of elected government, today's 24/7 news cycle and the constant need for content means that for all practical purposes, now every year is an election year, so the likelihood of government honesty is even lower. There are no "off years" where officials might temporarily abstain from the more conspicuous pandering of the campaign trail, which at least theoretically would allow adult thinking to sneak into the process.
Simply put: the political junkiedom/news entertainment trend that has spawned this 24-hour news monstrosity is making the political process even more cynical and duplicitous. Far from being "watchdogs," the "political junkies" and news celebs have actually made it harder for the Washington shills to take a day off from shilling.
I suppose I should lament this development, but as it is the news celebrities and their glassy-eyed patsy fans who are often the most zealous about declaring it our "duty" to vote, it is more fun to sit back and watch them transparently betrayed by the process they celebrate.