Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Results oriented checks and balances

Hart via Conyers.

Senator Hart had a very thought provoking piece.

We can debate all day long about whether our leadership believes in delusions.

The solution is to give the courts the power to mandate the Congress and Executive agree to a common solution.

In that spirit, we could have a real system of checks and balances, that focuses on government results.

* * *

[Here are my full for the debate :]

Arianna has this.

I would like to extend my appreciation to Senator Hart of writing. He has taken the time to express his views.

The Senator's conclusion is apt: We can expect more of our government, and attitude is just the beginning.

Senator Hart offers hope and it is encouraging that he feels it appropriate to speak out. This is a good sign. It means the leadership in the DNC are thinking about the way forward.

We are no longer under the misguided belief that we are forever doomed by the forces of lawlessness in America under the Bush fascism.

I commend the DNC leadership, Congressmen Conyers, and Senator Obama, and Senator Hart for rallying the nation and preparing for a new way forward. Now is the time to build off their perspective and chart a way forward.

* * *

I write today, not as a reader, but as a Republican who knows this party's days are numbered.

My goal in writing is not to poke holes in the DNC leadership, but to provide feedback from how those "across the aisle" have reacted.

Some, if not all, violently agree with your conclusion: There is a way forward.

* * *

Personally, I have a hard time with one of the premises in Senator Hart's argument. In my view, the assumption of "we are where we are because of a lack of belief" although may be a valid perspective for some, may not necessarily capture the real reason for why we are where we are.

I am not convinced we find ourselves because this President did or didn't believe in government. I believe he has a delusional reliance on non-sense, and incorrectly assesses what is required to address government.

At his core, I view the President as having a rock solid belief in government: That it can do wondrous things, can achieve greatness on foreign lands, and impose discipline at home.

The issue is whether that believe is based on reality; whether the belief in the vision is linked to actual resources; and whether the outlook for America, springing from that view of government, is related to credible plans.

Self-evidently, given only Iraq and Katrina, it is clear that the President doesn't suffer from a failure of "belief in government." He suffers from a failure of leadership. His skills and styles are insufficient.

He can only achieve results through whispers in his ear. He cannot stand on his own. That is not a failure of belief. It is a failure of the system to properly remove such a failed and flawed person from the political stage.

* * *

Ineffective government, on its own merit and flaws, will suffer not based on belief, but simple inaction and a decision not to prevail and achieve results.

Belief in the ineffectiveness of government, as we have seen in recent weeks, is self-fulfilling.

* * *

Actually, leadership is an action with cause and effect; it is not connected to the belief or disbelief in the government.

The failure to govern well is a natural and a predictable result of disbelief in government

Credible leaders, when they choose to achieve lawful results, will get there, and can convince those who are disbelievers to self-evidently see their disbelief is irrelevant: Results, despite disbelief are real.

* * *

I agree with this:
Response to hurricane Katrina is not proof of government's failure; it is proof of George W. Bush's failure to govern effectively.

* * *

This quote incorrectly presumes that "effectiveness" is defined in terms of the ideal results, not unlawful results.
How does one, not believing in government, respond when given its reins?
In the minds of Republicans, although delusional, government is very effective at imposing power, albeit ineffectively.

Remember, RNC relies on the image of power, and fails to credibly link power with lawful results. RNC pursues power for its own sake, and to chase an image or dream.

* * *

The following could be said of those who berate the main stream media, but fail to credibly achieve the results when given the chance of rallying the nation through the internet:
Delegate authority, in many cases to incompetent people, because it really doesn't matter much. Most of all avoid responsibility and, at all costs, accept accountability only reluctantly.

9-11 occurred, and government failed, not because the government officials "didn't believe in government," but because they're stupid managers. They don't listen.

That's not a belief problem. It's a conscious decision not to do anything.

* * *

If people want to claim that the "lack of belief in government is the problem," how do we explain how, despite the GAO and Congressional reviews, Congress still went along with the plans.

Four years later hurricane Katrina revealed how slip-shod, mismanaged, uncoordinated, lackadaisical that agency still was. The president took little or no interest.
This is not a failure of government, nor is it a problem with "belief." It is a problem with failing to translate information into credible plans.

* * *

If this "failure of belief" or "lack of belief" is to be applied, it cannot be applied to only to the Executive Branch. This is where Hart's argument falls down.

* * *

The following statement, hinged to Katrina, is far too sweeping to be believable:
He could not be bothered. This was "government"; and he does not believe in government.
. . . for it is the illusory belief in government that prompted the US to invade and install a government.

The problem with Iraq wasn't a "lack of belief in government," but a conscious decision to simply do something, without regard to reality.

That isn't a "lack of belief," but blind faith, without regard to facts.

The RNC have a great belief in government: They're just misguided on what is required to ensure that they achieve lawful results, nor do they credibly ensure that the systems and mechanisms they have at their disposal are effectively used.

Go down the list: The GAO and IG reports were all telling them, "things are great." That's not a failure of belief; it's a failure of people providing reliable information, and a failure of leadership to follow-up and manage.

These leaders in the RNC have believed their own-sense. In turn, their failures have spread the fiction that government is a failure; or that the citizenry, when forced to put up with this non-sense, have given up on government.

No, we've given up on this Administration. If we truly "had no faith" in the System, we would have simply given up, not made quotes, nor have the audacity to remind people that we still have a constitution.

That's not a "lack of belief." That' called being patriotic, and simply asserting that the rule of law can prevail over tyrants.

What propels that drive? An inner knowing, a feeling greater than transitory belief, that what we are seeing is wrong.

America hasn't given up a belief in government. America has given up on George Bush.

Do not ever ask Americans to believe "we gave up on government."

No, George Bush gave up on America and trashed the Constitution.

For that, he should be impeached. And only in America, where a belief in government exists, could we possibly hope to see that the Republicans will see the light of day, listen to Fitzgerald, and remove their buffoon from the White House.

If we truly "lost the belief" in government, then we wouldn't care whether the future did or didn't address these issues.

ON the contrary, the fact that there is a potential risk that, despite the egregious war crimes the President may get a pass by the RNC, there is the inner knowing that we cannot give up, we must know the facts, and there can be an improvement.

We have a constitution. It is above this government.

We have every right to give up on George Bush.

But we have only one constitution.

We haven't given up on that -- if we had, no one would dare speak, but simply drop their eyes, grovel on the ground, and assent to abuse and mistreatment.

We never agreed to that; and for that we shall continue to assert the rule of law over all, both on the RNC and the DNC.

* * *

I partially agree with this, but have a problem with the statement:

Now is the time for a sober understanding that governing America requires more than an attitude, especially one that guarantees ineffective government and incompetent governance.

The way forward is to come up with a plan that is going to do something that is going to ensure the system is responsive, one where "the failure to achieve results" is an issue before the court.

What does that mean? It means, that if we were to truly have a system of "checks and balances" then, when the Congress and Executive have a plan in place, then the Court must put the Congress on one side, and the Executive on the other.

The court must inject itself into the case and say, "What is going to be done?"

The court must be given the power to mandate that, when the Congress and Executive are not effective, that they be required to both appear before the Third Branch, and are compelled to resolve the issue, develop a plan, and solve the problem.

* * *

Here's the deal: This nation needs to get over the idea that "belief" and "attitude" did or didn't get us where we are.

The fact of the matter is, the entire nation chose to go along with this, and the entire country collectively failed to have in place sufficient safeguards to prevent this state of affairs.

We can blame all we want. The solution needs to be one that focuses on:

  • A. What will be done to remedy the defect in the checks and balances; and

  • B. How will the Congress and Executive, when they refuse to do their jobs to achieve lawful and prudent results, be compelled to achieve results, and exercise oversight?

    Our constitution has a framework in place for checks and balances.

    We could have mechanisms that focus on results, not lawlessness.

    All that's needed is for Congress and the Executive to accept they cannot do it on their own, and require the third branch to act as both a referee, and a coach.

    Otherwise, we need a fourth branch of government to compel the legislature and executive to come to the table and be accountable.

    The current system of voting doesn't achieve that. It doesn't mean get rid of the vote.

    It means create a more intrusive system of government that intrudes into the affairs of the legislature and executive.

    If the courts cannot function in that role, then the only alternative, short of banning government, is to restructure the relationship between the two main bodies which appear disconnected from results and more focused on fantasy-government.

    We could do better.

    And we shall.