Mess-O-Rama: Benghazi, Obamacare and the Absence of AccountabilityPosted: January 22, 2014
“I think of a Conservative, and I take away reason, and accountability”
Consider the recent mess-o-rama. The botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act. The Senate report that deemed the attack in Benghazi, Libya, preventable and raised questions about accountability, or lack thereof. The mounting problems of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Together, they illustrate that our politics suffers from too little real accountability and too much faux-countability. The latter phenomenon has two variations. There is non-accountable accountability, in which the politician piously asserts that the buck stops with him or her but does nothing, post-proclamation, with said buck. And there is its obverse, over-accountability, in which political foes attempt to tar officials with responsibility for actions far beneath their purview.
As the debacle with the health-care Web site was unfolding, I bristled at calls for a public beheading. Firing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, or some lesser-known bureaucrat, wasn’t going to make the site load any faster. Such a precipitous, showy change would probably have worsened the disaster.
But now, with the immediate crisis under control, it would seem like a good time for accountability. “Hold me accountable for the debacle,” Sebelius declared in October. “I’m responsible.” Nice sentiment. But this is non-accountable accountability, an assertion devoid of content. Accountability is meaningless without consequences attached…
- Scandals, mistakes and the quality of accountability: Ruth Marcus (oregonlive.com)
- Ruth Marcus: The quality of accountability (azstarnet.com)
- Glenn Greenwald: Ruth Marcus Exemplifies ‘Horrible’ D.C. Media (huffingtonpost.com)
- Mediaite’s Noah Rothman Hits Greenwald for Personally Attacking Ruth Marcus (mediaite.com)
- Glenn Greenwald and Ruth Marcus Get in Explosive Exchange over Snowden and ‘Horrible’ D.C. Media (mediaite.com)
- Debate: Clemency for Edward Snowden? (thelead.blogs.cnn.com)
- WaPo’s Ruth Marcus: Scandal Has Taken ‘Dangerous Turn’ For Christie (mediaite.com)
- PBS: Video: Newshour: David Brooks & Ruth Marcus: President Obama’s Surveillance Reforms & Benghazi (frsdailyview.wordpress.com)
- Ruth Marcus: Two shades of loyalty (azstarnet.com)
- Washington’s dysfunction proves costly elsewhere: Ruth Marcus (oregonlive.com)