Friday, September 02, 2005

the no blame game

I visited the Volokh Conspiracy, as I sometimes do, and came across the following from Prof. Kerr:
I have absolutely no interest in assigning blame. My sense is that the crisis is sufficiently great that we need to be forward thinking right now. Assigning blame looks back; it's something you do when the emergency is over, and you have time to reconstruct what happened and see how you could do better next time.
It seems to me that those in power (and those siding with those in power) use this argument to avoid taking responsibility for their actions when things go wrong. I don't blame the President and the Republican Congress to score political points. I blame them because they have never been serious about governing the country. I blame them because they turned Homeland Security funding into just one more pork barrel. I blame them because they staffed FEMA with cronies. I blame them because they spent money where their friends were instead of where it was needed. I blame them because they were more concerned with finding a country to beat up to show that America was still Number One than with making our country safe.

But this isn't news. These things were true before 9/11, and they've been true ever since. I see little reason to give these guys a pass now, simply because their incompetence and lack of compassion has been on open, painful display. To say that I shouldn't blame them now is to say that now that their corrupt view of government has killed who knows how many people, I should be less angry with them than I already was.

I'll leave that forbearance for their fans, for their teammates who can't afford to believe that their leaders don't deserve the description, much less the job.

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