USA Today had a remarkable headline (4/29/09) on a story about Pennsylvania's Sen. Arlen Specter switching from the Republican to the Democratic Party:
Leaving GOP, Specter Gives Dems a Boost in Stifling Dissent
The headline writer does not seem to understand the meaning of the word "dissent," which is the expression of opposition to reigning policies, not the ability to prevent policies from being enacted even when they're supported by a majority of elected representatives.
This same misunderstanding is found in the article itself, which reports, "As a minority in the House and without the votes to filibuster the Senate, Republicans would find it harder to block Democratic initiatives or even be heard." Actually, each side does get a chance to debate in the Senate, even if there is no filibuster; if corporate media won't cover the views of elected critics who don't have the power to block legislation, that would seem to be a problem of–well, of a media that doesn't understand what "dissent" means.