Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Claire is right

Of course, Claire is usually right (not always, just usually). Consider this a general BlogProps for WolfesBlog, of course, and not just because she says nice things about my "day job". But I do want to direct your attention to yesterday's blog entry. Money shot:

"MISTAKES GET MADE." Yes, all by themselves and always without any responsibility on the part of high government officials or their privileged contractors and friends, "mistakes get made." Or "mistakes are made." And the "appearance of wrongdoing" is created.

Poor slobs from the inner cities or the rural trailer parks of America go to prison or to the graveyard for a few ounces of dope of a little meth or for beating up some other guy on a drunken Saturday night. They're held fully, painfully, miserably, personally responsible for every tiny act they commit. "Mistakes aren't made" by high-school dropouts or people with incomes under $20k. No, the justice system always considers those folks to be bright and knowledgeable enough to be fully aware of and fully accountable for their every deed.

Class warfare? Yes, after a fashion -- a most visceral explication of what's wrong with the whole idea of the state. It's us versus the political class. Knock some guy on his ass at the bar, go to jail. Acting as "National Command Authority" on an operation that flattens the wrong neighborhood (as opposed to the right one, also full of innocent people but maybe, just maybe, the bad guy you're after is there too), then at best your poll numbers go up, and at worst ... "mistakes were made" (if the latter, the slob who actually pressed the button on your orders might spend some time making big rocks into little rocks at Leavenworth, but who cares -- he's nobody, right?).

Being in government means only having to say you're sorry. Or perhaps "I take full responsibility" -- but when you're in government, "taking full responsibility" doesn't mean actually paying the price for, or accepting the consequences of, your actions, it just means there'll be a photo opp on the East Lawn at noon sharp.

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