Main Page | Recent changes | View source | Page history

Printable version | Disclaimers | Privacy policy

Not logged in
Log in | Help

Accountability Project

From dKosopedia



President George W. Bush loves to pick villians. He loves to identify a Saddam Huessein or an Osama Bin Laden, or some other individual to personify the enemy. Progressives are no different. We love to pick a handful of villians in the administration, like the President, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfield and to villify them.

But, being progressives, we also feel some duty, unlike our opponents, to play fair. The reality of modern government is that it takes more than just two or three people to make all of the decisions. There are thousands of people in government who make discretionary decisions that set policy. Usually, all the credit and all the blame, goes to their superiors. But, the diffusion of responsiblity for these discretionary decisions, in government, in the military, in corporations, is at the core of what makes these big organizations dangerous to individuals. "Don't blame me" is a fine art in large organizations. Yet, troubling policies don't happen unless some individuals get the ball rolling and keep it moving.

Often, these individuals are immune for any legal responsibility for the harm they do to our Republic. Horrible Judges, like Justice Clarence Thomas on the U.S. Supreme Court can be sued by the families of the hundred men who his poor judgment sends to death row in a recent decision. The authors of the Torture Memos are in all likelihood immune from liability to the people who have been tortured in American military prisons, sometimes causing their deaths. The FDA administrator whose outrageous abuse of authority deprived millions of American women of over-the-counter access to the morning after pill won't have to pay for financial burden or the pain and suffering those women suffer when get abortions instead of taking a simple pill right after unprotected sex. In some cases, this lack of legal liability may even be good public policy. Courts are not always the best arbitrators of issue like these.

But, that doesn't mean that the Court of Public Opinion, should be as restrained in its judgment. People whose discretionary decisions harm our Republic should be identified along with the harms they have caused in a central repository. One of these days, people like this are going to seek higher office, offices where members of the U.S. Senate and Presidents need to determine if they have good judgment or bad judgment. And, background checks don't catch the subtle malfeasances of bad professional judgment. I, therefore, propose the Accountability Project, an effort to identify by name and deed, officials who make bad discretionary decisions.

This is not a place to discuss personal conduct, good or bad, it is a place to discussion official conduct of public concern. It is also based on the premise that having a boss who wants a particular outcome is not excuse. People are morally responsible and can resign if faced with an unacceptable policy to carry out in their professional life.

It is, of course, also appropriate to identify by name and deed, individuals who stick out their necks and make good decisions when it is hard to make good decisions. Eventually, when there are enough names this could be organized or cross indexed by type of bad act.

Bad Actors

External Links

Good Actors

Retrieved from "http://localhost../../../a/c/c/Accountability_Project_4875.html"

This page was last modified 08:31, 14 January 2007 by Rich Wingerter. Based on work by Ken Comer, Chad Lupkes and Andrew Oh-Willeke. Content is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

[Main Page]
Daily Kos
DailyKos FAQ

View source
Discuss this page
Page history
What links here
Related changes

Special pages
Bug reports