Constant's pations

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

Friday, October 06, 2006

Misplaced Outrage

The hypocrisy has been noteworthy.

* * *

It's been interesting to watch the outrage against the leadership by some with a demonstrated track record of engaging in the same abuse.

The curious contrast has been the speed to which some have asked, "Why wasn't something done earlier?" Look in the mirror. Some, not all, of the DNC bloggers are abusive. This does not mean that an abusive blog-community is the same as criminal conduct. The DNC blogs have already demonstrated the pattern we've seen in the Congress: Abuse, denial, changing the subject, excuses and inaction.

It should not be any surprise to anyone at some blogs why the RNC didn't do anything: Bloggers reacted in the same way: Explain away the problem, shoot the messenger, and shift to other "more important" things. There's a common problem with the overriding mentality that rationalizes abuse/misconduct, changes the subject, and continues with the inappropriate conduct: It's called lack of accountability. Surprise!

Because of this experience, I can understand why nothing was done in the RNC: There is a cast of enablers who refuse to respond to reasonable questions. It doesn't mean that inaction is acceptable, it means its a pervasive problem which few have a credible moral claim to investigate.

When the public rewards those who engage in abuse, the abuse will continue. When bloggers engage in abuse, they are no different than the leaders they presently decry. The issue is degree and substance, not the core problem of arrogance.

* * *

Those who engage in abuse and denial are in a poor position to objective challenge the FBI or others in Government. You may be correct, but you have little credibility: When you were faced with the similar issues, you too did what the Republican leadership did: Nothing, but provide excuses, then change the subject

Look at the common problems between the blog and the White House-House leadership-FBI:

- Claims they want to know something, but they're not serious about taking inputs, or reviewing information [rebuffing information, unresponsive to concerns, white wash reviews];

- Only when the spotlight is on them will they seek a way to shift it to someone else [meaningless reviews, misleading then bypassing the FISA court];

- They'll continue with abuse, sharing disingenuous concerns, all the while failing to correct their problem of their flawed culture which they openly contribute [privately more loyal to alleged criminal activity than working with lawful enterprises; showing more respect for abuse than civility];

- If they can get away with abusing others, they'll consider that a success.

The DNC bloggers can be just as abusive and rationalize inaction, providing excuses for inaction. They may be right about what they're objecting because they've been wrong about what they've similarly ignored.

What Needs To Be Done

Look in the mirror.

(1) Responsiveness To Your Requests

If you’re going to ask for inputs, but not take action on them, or are not serious about listening, you lose credibility. You demonstrate you’re not willing to lead nor are open to solutions when you narrowly define the acceptable input to a narrow range of behavior. People may assist as a genuine desire.

If you treat others with the assumption that they are like you – looking for an easy way to promote trash – then you will miss out on what may be genuine. Your error is to accuse the world, especially those who listen to you, for having listened to your disingenuous request. Your conduct demonstrates that your public statements are not serious, but transitory. This is no different than what we have in the RNC.

If you’re not willing to fully support the responses you specifically ask for, you have failed to solve the problem you admit prompted your request for assistance. The error is to believe your problem is solved or unnoticed.

(2) Retribution for responding

If you want the public to provide information, and give them the opportunity to post links to expand comments, but you shut them out for doing exactly what you want, you lose credibility.

The shell game is simple. It is a problem when you communicate a standard, but punish others for doing things that is unrelated to that standard. Your excuses to justify your abuse and mistreatment are uncompelling. What is noteworthy are the excuses you give to justify your abuse.

The error is to punish others for doing exactly what you wanted. The error is to forget others may believe you.

Your fatal error is going forward, your similar requests for assistance will have a higher burden or proof to justify confidence that you are serious with listening and accepting what you say you want. There will be less attention on your words, and more attention on what you have already failed to do. It is your issue when you publicly comment or fail to communicate, then decry in others that they have not relied on what you define is or is not acceptable.

Your error is to complain that the issue should or should not be handled privately; yet, when in private, you refuse to respond to requests.

The issue is not whether there is or is not publicly, but that you do not want the world to realize that you suffer from the same problems that you decry in others. Pretending otherwise does not make it so.

(3) Your example

When you engage in conduct you decry in others, you lose credibility. You demonstrate that you are willing to rationalize your abuse of others, but then want the world to grovel or assist when you suffer the same abuses you have inflicted upon others. Your problem is when you fail to manage what you can control, but expect the world to take you seriously on things you cannot control.

(4) Arbitrary rules

When you create new rules after the fact, and then use the new rules to sanction others, you lose credibility. You demonstrate you are looking for ways to abuse others, not enforce the existing rules; you further undermine your credibility when you whine that others are doing what your example communicates is acceptable. You are contemptible and despicable.

(5) Insecure

When you fail to treat others civilly, or you take public comments as a personal attack, and use this as an excuse to lash out, you lose credibility. You demonstrate you are weak and unwilling to stand by your words. You are not a leader, you are part of the same mob which you decry in the RNC.

(6) Solutions

When you are given a chance to contribute, but refuse to participate, you lose credibility. You are denied the chance to take credit for what you actively thwarted. You are not a reliable person, you are simply hoping to take credit for others cleaning up your mess.

(7) Awakening

When you whine that the world doesn’t get it, but there are efforts to show you that the word understands but you ignore that information, you lose credibility. It is you who doesn’t get it.

* * *

Make no mistake. There is a large difference between being a leader in the Congress, and someone who runs a blog. The core commonalities are noteworthy. Where some decry abuse and mistreatment in one forum, a wider view will show that the mistreatment is pervasive across all forums.

It’s not right, whether its in Congress, in the blogosphere, on the battlefield, in detention, on in our homes. The RNC has violated the Constitution, invaded our homes, illegally engaged in surveillance, and committed war crimes at home and abroad. The same culture which is silent about the international war crimes is also complicit with the abuse I’ve seen in the DNC blogs.

Does his mean that the Democrats should not take control? By all means, the opposite: It’s the time to let the DNC do what the RNC refuses to do: Lead, find facts, and provide an alternative. The present crew is not acceptable. However, this does not mean that the new crew will be immune to similar challenges.

Your honey moon is over. You have to start running. You have the chance to find facts, then make a plan to move us forward.

Learn the lessons of the RNC leadership. Apply them now not just in positions of leadership, but in your daily interactions.

___ Am I open to hearing other views?

___ Am I treating others how I want to be treated?

___ Am I open to ideas after having asked for them?

___ Am I willing to accept someone posting a link on my blog as an effort to provide a solution?

___ Do I have a reason for being concerned that someone providing information is doing so because of an ill motive?

___ Have I taken the time to discuss the issue with them?

___ Am I expecting others to meet a standard that I will not meet?

___ Am I complaining about conduct of others that I engage?

___ Have I whined that others are disclosing personal information, only to do the same as a form of punishment?

___ Am I making up rules on the fly, and enforcing new rules without giving people the chance to understand them?

___ Am I punishing people for doing things I have not expressly forbidden?

___ Am I part of what people call a solution, or am I being left out because people no longer value my input?

___ When someone gives credit for what has been done, am I left out because I did not do anything?

___ Am I getting in the way of what I hope to accomplish?

___ Have I asked for inputs, but my conduct communicates that I’m not serious about listening or taking those ideas?

___ Is my conduct communicating I’m someone who can be trusted to be diplomatic with sensitive information?

___ Are my public statements consistent with what I have actually done?

___ Am I misrepresenting my qualifications?

___ Am I overstating what I have done in one situation, but have not been able to put that asserted accomplishment to use in other situations?

___ Am I talking about a problem that could be solved if I were able to really do what I said I had already accomplished?

___ Do I really understand the skills, backgrounds, and capabilities of those I am banning from my site, or publicly disclosing non-public information?

___ Have I comprehended the scope of public information I have left that could be used in a court of law against me?

___ Have I been open to responding to private requests to resolve an issue?

___ When others do things that I condemn, but I lash out at others for doing what I have done, do I really have any credibility?

___ If I value privacy for my friends, why am I quick to disclose confidential information about others?

___ If I disclose confidential information about those who are foolish enough to believe my crocodile tears, do I have any moral authority when I complain that others have merely commented on information which was not provided with any guarantee of non-disclosure?

___ How many bridges have I burned because of my unwillingness to treat others with respect?

___ What excuses am I giving not to listen, understand when it is simple?

___ How am I contributing to creating a bigger problem, down the road?

___ How many times have I been the subject of attacks because of valid concerns which I have refused to listen to?

___ When I have something to say, is the information I am sharing worth considering?

___ How much of what I am contributing is unrelated to a solution?

___ Am I spending my time on an important issue?

___ Is the way that I’m ignoring an issue sending a signal about how serious I am in handing something more serious?

___ Have I asked, but I’m not listening?

___ Have I encouraged souls, but trampled upon them?

___ Have I inspired hearts, only to undermine dreams?

___ Have I reached out to touch, but only slapped?

___ Has my feigned sensitivity created more ferocious warriors?

___ Has my feigned love of freedom required my imprisonment?

* * *

It is appropriate to examine what has gone wrong. But if the RNC were serious about leadership, it would expand its investigation to what it really wrong: The failure to review what has gone wrong, and the unwillingness to do what is right.

Abuse is not an invention of the RNC, they merely took the abuse to unimaginable levels. This nation was unprepared to self-govern. It was never presumed that American leaders would engage in illegal warfare and prisoner abuse; yet the laws existed and were not enforced.

As you comment on Foley, consider whether your conduct is above reproach. We are not asking for angels; nor accepting disguised devils. The shock and rage at Foley's actions should be tempered and redirected to investigate war crimes, and hold the American leadership to account for Geneva violations.

If you're asking what went wrong in the RNC leadership, you only need to look at what went wrong on the blogs: You didn't adjust early, but kept doing what was not acceptable.

It is one thing to claim the leadership has failed; quite another to be complicit with that failed leadership, but claim not to recognize what has gone wrong in your own party, on your blog, or in your campaign. If you have clear rules, you may enforce them. When you have no rules, you cannot credibly make rules that retroactively punishes others for things you do.

We the People notice. You may find out the easy way, or a hard way. Americans prefer the hard way.

You wished this.