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View Diary: An Update On That Accountability Moment: As Predicted, We Missed It. (145 comments)

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  •  You seem to be confusing (none)
    (in your language, if not in your intent) the blamers and the blamed: which side are you saying is circling the wagons?

    I didn't say that the Democrats (the "blamers", I guess you'd call them) are taking their ball and going home; I said it was the Republicans doing that. And I didn't say that we need the "blamers" to tell us what happened; that's the job of the current government. What I said is that the Administrations's response to the "blame game" is to take their ball and go home -- or as you seem to be saying, to circle the wagons -- and refuse to discuss this issue of "blame".

    That's just plain childish. If my child breaks a lamp, and I ask him how it happened, he might naturally try to dissemble. That is, if that happened tomorrow, he might. (Or he might be honest; he's pretty mature for a 7 YO.) But if he's 18 or 22 or 55 when this happens, I'd expect him to 'fess up right away; I'd be very disappointed if he didn't.

    If our elected officials mess up, they need to 'fess up. It should not matter whether we're pointing fingers or even pitchforks. If they blew it, they should account for it. If they had an ounce of maturity and wisdom among them, they'd realize that it's more important than their goddamn egos. It's literally a matter of life and death, because if they don't tell us what happened, and why, there's no way to stop it from happening again. And if they won't do it, it ain't our goddamn fault, it's theirs.

    The burden -- not the blame, the burden -- is on them.

    "Stay the course" isn't a plan. It isn't a principle. It's a tantrum.

    by Nowhere Man on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 09:51:35 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, I misunderstood you (none)
      "I didn't say that we need the "blamers" to tell us what happened"

      I wasn't talking about what anyone needs.  I was responding to a post by someone who said that they wanted to know what happened.

      "That's just plain childish."
      "they need to 'fess up"
      "they should account for it"
      "The burden -- not the blame, the burden -- is on them"

      I wasn't talking the maturity of the Administation, or about what they need to do or should do, or about burdens being on or not on anyone.  I was talking about the effect of blaming on the odds of finding out what happened.  

      I contend that, if you start blaming people, they will circle the wagons, take their ball and go home, or whatever you want to call it.   And then you are not going to find out what happened.  If that is your goal, and you engage in this behavior, you will not reach your goal.

      "It's literally a matter of life and death, because if they don't tell us what happened, and why, there's no way to stop it from happening again."

      On this point, I certainly agree.

      It's all a matter of what your goals are.  If you want to find out what happened, so that you can stop it from happening again, then don't blame, because that is not going to get you there...ask what happened.  If you prefer to blame, blame away.  It's your choice.

      •  I agree that (none)
        it's better to ask questions than to quickly place blame without knowing all the facts.

        And I also agree that it's the nature of immature people (which, sadly, means most of us) to become defensive when fingers get pointed their way.

        But although I think you're making some valid points, I don't think they apply well to this situation.

        For starters, when the defensiveness results in the loss of a chance to learn from the situation, the responsibility still remains with the ones who failed, not with the ones who pointed the fingers. In other words, defensiveness is not a valid excuse, even if it is an all-too-human reaction. This is especially true when the responsible party is also in a critical leadership role.

        And it's also been the nature of this administration to spin the questions themselves as "the blame gamne". This effectively results in any analysis of the failures, no matter how dispassionate, being quashed.

        In the end, it's better to lay blame (thus keeping the discussion open, even if not amicably) than to remain a silent accomplice.

        "Stay the course" isn't a plan. It isn't a principle. It's a tantrum.

        by Nowhere Man on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 02:17:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Still disagree (none)
          There are many choices other than laying blame or remaining silent. Lately I have concluded that "A failure of imagination" is the phrase that best describes modern America.  Few people can imagine anything beyond either/or, pro/anti, left/right.  Surely this must be the hallmark of a dying civilization.

          This is a democracy. We The People are always responsible. I am responsible for Bush being elected in 2000. I am responsible for the Patriot Act. I am responsible for Iraq. I am responsible for the failed Katrina relief efforts. I am responsible for everything that has happened that I did little or nothing to prevent.  I was not worried about the levees in NOLA before Katrina hit.  I did nothing about them.  I am not only as responsible as Bush, I am more responsible, because I'm a citizen in a democracy.  

          The primary responsibility for the behavior of my government falls on me, not its elected officials.  They are just hired hands. If they are not listening to me any more, it's because I did not speak up for so long, they began listening to others.  If they think they have the authority to do whatever the hell they want, it is because I have voted them into office and then gone back to my life for so long, they have naturally grown accustomed to my expecting them to do whatever the hell they want, as long as they don't bother me about it.  As long as nothing they do adversely affects my self-interests. I am responsible for that, not them.

          Above all, I am responsible for my choices and actions as a citizen.  Mine, and mine alone.  What anyone else does is their responsibility. It is not my responsibility to rail at them about it or point fingers at them.  This is not holding anyone accountable for anything, it is just railing and pointing fingers.  It is throwing stones in a glass house that is barely standing from all the stones being thrown by citizens who don't want to accept responsibility for this sad democracy.

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