Accountability - Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Dear Leader
Sorry fans, I realize I have been letting all 30 of you down in recent days with the lack of posts. Partly because I have been busy at work. Partly because it is near impossible to keep up with all the news from Katrina. However, mostly because I feel disgusted with government at various levels. I know I just sounded like the folks I am about to rag on but hey, making excuses lands some people in very powerful positions, so please forgive mine.
It is hard to say what disgusts me more these days. But at the very top has to be how this president is slicker than teflon and how nothing ever seems to stick to him.
Yglesias had a similar version of my rant recently, and one of his points was how Bush's approval dissaproval ratings are about the same. They may have slipped a few notches but they are in the low 40's to upper 30's. Meanwhile approval of Katrina handling is at about 20%
The former has been the case for the last few months. With all the bad crap in iraq, and now the Katrina monumental disaster, I would think Bush would have lost like 5 points on this latest poll alone.
Thus, the lack of understanding by me of the political landscape in this country.
Clinton got (and still gets) blamed for almost anything that occured under his watch or even under bush's watch (ie. 9/11 clinton had the chance to get OBL but blew it as the wingers say). Simlarly, Democrats get blamed for slashing defense budgets and starving the military beast. Bush however, gets credit. Credited, not blamed, for only the good things that are realy bad things spun into goodness by his apparatchiks in various facets of the corporate media.
Yet evidence has been mounting to the contrary. Bush appointed a Secretary of Defense that screwed up the war, and despite Kagan and Kristol's most valiant efforts, he still keeps his job and President Teflon isn't connected in any way to any of this persons malfeasance.
On national television Condi Rice was confronted with the infamous memo addressed to her that was entitled "Osama Bin Laden Determined to Attack Within the United States" dated August 6th 2001. For her excellence and service to the fine American's who died on 9/11, a promotion to Secretary of State! The filter of intelligence either filtered or didn't, either way the intelligence landed on her desk, she either ignored it or passed it on.
Bush appoints most of FEMA's current top rung, most of which not only lacked emergency management experience but were also political cronies. I remember a certain governor who got into some major shit for putting a crony (albeit of the personal nature) into disaster control of a certain state that I live in. A crony is a crony is a crony right? While McGreevy was obviously bashed and forced to retire for putting his crony in charge of our security why doesnt this same level of accountability apply to the White House?
I do think the local politicos in nawlins (Missisippi and Alabama too) should all be pushed to resign or retire or whatever the glorious way of signing off is these days. But the federal government should be no different.
I know this sounds like a slogan/bumper sticker but when Clinton got a BJ nobody died over it. Yet he was impeached!
Today we have various failed policies, and people administrating such policies which have been directly correlated to american (and other) deaths. Human life. Lives. You know. Living, breathing, feeling organisms.
It is beyond belief that bush's accountability seems inversly proportional to the ammount of shit that actually occurs under his watch, under those whom he has appointed (and erroneously not fired), or worse, actually signed off on personally.
Michael Brown was exposed for being a resume padder and a political crony, yet while he may no longer be in charge of this crisis, he will be in charge of the next one. I am sure he will find his way into the Bush Presidential Library forever immortalized by "Brownie you're doing an excellent job" caption.
If there werent human lives at stake I would say "who cares how many times you screw up." Shit I work in an environment where people are known fuck-ups and get to keep their job. However, Rummy, Brown, Chertoff, and most others in charge of "vital missions" have been criminally negligent but they still get a piece of my (and your) tax payer dollars every week. So to those who think this is a poor time for finger pointing and blame gaming, sorry.
Any failure of government on any scale deserves finger pointing. Be it to whom it may, from whichever party. Let the chips fall as they may, but i fear that a lack of finger pointing has led us to the sad state of affairs I find this country in. Where many folks become appathetic and supported their political leaders regardless of the ruin their policies have caused their constituents. We are at war and I remember when the case was being made for that war, many many folks were just saying oh well.... let it happen.... its ok.... go ahead....
Forget asking the tough questions. Noone was asking ANY questions. period. I think fingerpointing is the best thing that CAN come out of this whole thing. If anything the hope that any politician in future situations such as this can conjure the image of how their previous compatriots in government were treated can perhaps alter their behavior whenever a crisis confronts them. Perhaps thinking of how the political gallows were populated with the Katrina Krisis Krew during this crisis, will lead the thought process of the politician dealing with the next.
So I say, point away. Roll the dice in the Blame Game. The way politicians are polluted by money and pampered by the press, it seems that only a sign saying "I'm a fuck up and people died because of my negligence" hanging from the necks of these guys/girls (from local on up to the President) is the only way future disasters/cotastrophies/wars/death can be potentially avoided.
Of course I say all this as I am currently contemplating fully removing myself from the political system (ie. not voting anymore).