09/11/2005: A Theory of Public Accountability
Here is a past comment from our current group of wing-nut debators here at DBV.
“…Lastly, we do have accountability moments in government. They're called elections, and Bush won relection just 10 months ago.”
This a *pat* Bush Supporter response and a cute-sie defense uttered in support of the current administration.
My following points extend beyond merely a single commentator’s simplistic phrase here, and not overly wishing to Pick on this one individual more than necessary (tho’ “Live by the Pen - die by the Pen” does come to mind since this IS his own comment – and he’s welcome to disown it here at DBV any time.)
But how defensible is this kind of Theory of Public Governance and Accountability?
Ours is a government of “Public Accountability.” That is the nature and purpose of having certain office holders ELECTED. And not having particular positions chosen by a quorum of a small group of unaccountable and feckless individuals (unless, parenthetically, one wishes to view the Supreme Court as a group of feckless and unaccountable individuals – who just happen to be a group to have overridden the election processes during 2000 in the State of Florida to create George Bush the Presidential Winner [actual election results notwithstanding.]) But that scenario isn't how our system is designed to function.
Yet, this “Hold-Harmless” group of Bush Supporters and (by those I mean the continued 25% in recent polls - at CBS News, Ramussen, Zogby [Here and Here and Here]– Who say there is NO responsibility to be put on the President for anything – ANYTHING.) Or those who say, “We had our moment of accountability, and it was his election in Nov. of 2004”; are endemic of a viewpoint that refuses to work within the system of good governance…and in fact, BREAKS the very fabric of the Public Accountability system.
That this President has never been known for being the Brightest Bulb in the BOX- but was chosen on the CEO-theory of the ability to select qualified and competent subordinates to do the REAL work. As the Top of Heap Official at the Highest office of our Government is a man with barely the required Presidential Job skills; and with a penchant for misplaced loyalties and cronyism in his appointments, a further pernicious fault of refusing to hold (On His Watch) even the most derelict subordinates accountable for anything – Defies Belief.
But that there are citizen who NOW, Today, won’t countenance this and their refusal to hold anyone from their Political Party accountable for anything. From the feckless appointments of people at FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. People unqualified in any way shape or form for the duties of the job selected, who then appoint yet more feckless cronies to positions of power and placement in the government…and I’m going to borrow this saying from another blogger [Elayne Riggs] from her blog-post headliner: “What Can't Brown Do For You?”
So, when this is Exposed for what it IS - a reckless disregard the required Experience to run FEMA, and is also directly responsible for the poor planning and management of this disaster coordination and response effort. And actual, additional and unnecessary Harms and Death which results to Our Citizens. Yet these folks say (via polls or otherwise) would say there is NO Accountability which falls at the feet of this Administration or the President?!?. Or, as our commentator put it – “we do have accountability moments in government. They're called elections” - as if that moment has Forever passed by.
And WHAT else would it possible take for these people to FIND such a MOMENT - IF not THIS?!? If this negligence and heinous cronyism of ill-conceived political appointments to positions critical to National Security and Safety doesn't Count - What ever WOULD???
Even to suggest that Government accountability is in fact merely a MOMENT or that it relies ONLY upon the future electibility of those individuals is a Horribly Distorted Notion of our entire Government. It’s A System Broken when one of it’s underlying functions as a Public System of Accountability is ignored in this way repeatedly. And especially when it results in, even haphazardly, the deaths of our own Citizens. As if, regardless of his position as “the buck stops here” Leader of our Country - GW is NOT going to be held responsible for any of this by these folks…is a National Shame and Dereliction of Good Citizenship.
And at the risk of sounding too offensive, but this must be said - SHAME on THOSE who denigrate and destroy our entire Public Accountability in this fashion for their own partisan purposes. SHAME ON YOU!!
Karen on 09.11.05 @ 08:29 AM CST