Sunday, September 4

Who's Watching the Watchers

"In a culture where shame is passé, we must ask often: Who is watching the watchers?" - Derek Lazzaro, Truthdig blogger

In his fine essay (link above), Lazzaro gives three examples where government oversight programs have gone off the rails.  His first example describes the ATF's trafficking of over a thousand automatic weapons into Mexico; his second example describes the SEC's systematic destruction of evidence against banks; and the third example describes NCAA misdeeds.  The people employed by taxpayers to enforce laws and oversee these critical areas of American life have not been held accountable.  They have received little or no punishment and probably do not even realize that they have done anything wrong.  They don't realize they are wrong because in more than one case, they have been rewarded with even more power.  We have foxes guarding our henhouses.

So, instead of doing their jobs and making sure their programs serve American citizens, meet current law, and are effective, these people and those that support them, work to change the laws or make sure those enforcing the laws/rules/regulations are just as criminally inept and corrupt.

If you look to Congress for solutions, they come up with partisan oversight committees  or obstructive and wasteful legislation such as the REINS Act (H.R. 10/S 299) - which would require each new government regulation be approved by both houses of Congress within 70 days, or the regulation would cease to exist.

In today's poltical environment, the government, it's laws and agencies are fodder for election speeches and political one-upsmanship, not subjects of serious concern and care.  I am reminded of a marriage gone bad when I think of our political system.  The "parents" will not reconcile, they try to inflict as much damage on each other as they can, and they ignore the suffering of their children.  So, like neglected offspring, Americans get to stand by and watch their elected leaders bicker and manipulate while gunrunners, crooks and liars set fire to the house.

A wise man said recently that in the old days of American politics, politicians tried to at least cover up their disdain of America's middle and lower classes, but back then, they had a few morals and a healthy fear of getting caught.  Now....  it's "no fear and no shame" politics.  It's all about the Benjamins.