Friday, October 13, 2006

The Transparent Blame Game

For folks who claim to hold exclusive lease on "family values," Republicans have no problem suspending moral judgment to protect their own-even at the expense of victims, and even at the expense of everyday citizens who choose to be informed, choose to ask questions and who dare to ask that our leaders play by the rules. Protecting politicians involves a dance: deny, blame the messenger, and change the subject. Truth and accountability have no place in the equation.

On a national level, the Foley scandal is a tragic example of what can happen if powerful people refuse to hold other powerful people accountable for their actions. Foley initially denied, then tried to turn the focus on the people leveling the charges, desperately wanting the discussion to be about who and why the allegations were being made, desperately wanting the discussion to be about anything other than what Foley did and who, by knowing and not telling, allowed his behavior to continue.

On a local level, today in The Telegraph, referencing an ethics complaint filed by a citizen against Rep. Allen Freeman, Robert Hightower, a former member of the ethics commission said: "This complaint is akin to a parking ticket written by someone without a badge..." Funny, I thought the whole point of our form of government was that citizens do, in fact, hold the badge when it comes to our elected officials. Shouldn't we applaud the people who blow the whistle instead of rapping them on their knuckles and hoping they'll go back to their corner?

It's no wonder so few people bother to vote, and no wonder the average citizen is not engaged in the political process. What a shame.