I still don’t see clearly.

14 Sep

If your natural vision is 20/300 but with glasses you rate 20/200, can you say you see clearly now?  Likewise, if you claim past administrations were impenetrable black holes, can you say your own administration is “transparent” if only an occasional photon escapes?

IMO, if Barack Obama was really interested in bringing about fundamental change in the way Washington works, he would make transparency a high priority. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and all that. He said he would in his 2008 campaign. Repeatedly. He still says he’s committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. It says so right there on, the officially sanctioned propaganda site for every administration. But notice on that site, even now, that every paragraph is prefaced with the phrase “should be” as opposed to “is”… “The government should be transparent”, “The government should be participatory”, “The government should be collaborative”.  Yeah, it definitely should be. The problem is, it’s still not.

As this article illustrates, the present reality is pretty much the same old same old:

“President Obama frequently claims that he’s leading “the most transparent administration in history,” as he asserted last February during a Google Plus “Fireside” Hangout.

But that self-administered pat on the back is belied by The Washington Post’s recent account of how the president’s spin doctors allegedly tried to rewrite quotes from reporter Barton Gellman’s interview with the National Security Agency’s chief compliance officer.”


Posted by on September 14, 2013 in Uncategorized


13 responses to “I still don’t see clearly.

  1. Cluster

    September 14, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Great analysis Rico.

  2. mitchethekid

    September 14, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Sometimes it’s best not to see how the sausage is made. As long as the results are what he promised, what difference does it make? From today’s headlines, deal reached in regards to Syria. Are you going to complain that you didn’t participate in the diplomacy? Or complain about the result? When he said “We can change” he was incredibly sincere. Then he was elected and suddenly subject to; like all Presidents, the rigidity and parameters of the office. Not to mention a Republican congress whose stated goal is to make him fail. The good of the country be damned. Taken in context, what he has accomplished, under the yoke of the right wing is Herculean. Just keep in mind that the NSA spying was started under you know who. As were so many other programs. If he had been a Republican you would have wanted him added to Mt. Rushmore.

    • ricorun

      September 14, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      Perhaps the problem is the juxtaposition of my post with events in Syria. With respect to Syria I have to agree with you that if Obama’s “bright red line in the sand” was to make the users of chemical weapons think twice about using them, and then he manages to work out a deal where he/they can eliminate the threat without firing a shot, that’s pretty awesome. I’m not saying it’s happened yet, but plans do seem to be in place. And IF it happens, it’s an awesome achievement.

      But that’s not the level of the issue I wanted to address. What I’m really talking about is making the basic functioning of government on a day-to-day basis more transparent. And in that respect Obama hasn’t done very well. And it’s not just him either — prior to the 2006 elections the Democratic party ran on a platform promising strong ethics reform, better accountability, and far more transparency in government. It didn’t happen for various reasons. Then in 2008 completed the trifecta, capturing the administrative branch as well as both houses of the legislature. Yet they STILL didn’t act on that promise. I find that unforgivable.

  3. Cluster

    September 14, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    From 2011:

    “The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way,” Obama said in a written statement. “For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.”

    And now Obama is cutting a deal with Putin to keep Assad in power and getting lectured on America’s exceptionalism in the process and this is an awesome achievement?

    • ricorun

      September 14, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      I do believe that eliminating the possibility of chemical weapons use without firing so much as a shot really would be an awesome achievement. Color me skeptical on that score though.But it should be remembered that Kennedy got lectured by Kruschev on American exceptionalism. And we all know how that worked out. As far as Assad and his tenuous grip on power, in the realm or realpolitik, what would you prefer?

      Oh yeah, I believe you’re the guy who advocated converting most of the Middle East into a vast surface mine of radioactive glass. Forget I said anything.

      • Cluster

        September 14, 2013 at 6:20 pm

        Well lets just say I am not very convinced that the Russia and Syria alliance can be trusted to rid the country of chemical weapons. And I understand the date for that now is March of 2014, so not a lot of urgency either.

      • Cluster

        September 14, 2013 at 6:23 pm

        Wasn’t Kennedy assassinated?

      • ricorun

        September 14, 2013 at 7:21 pm

        Cluster: Wasn’t Kennedy assassinated?

        Which Kennedy are you talking about? More importantly, what’s your point?

      • Cluster

        September 14, 2013 at 7:29 pm

        You stated that Kruschev lectured Kennedy and “we all know how that turned out” –

        I am just saying that I don’t think it turned out all to well.

    • ricorun

      September 14, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      Cluster: I am just saying that I don’t think it turned out all to well.

      Of course you’d say that. You’re a contrarian for no other sake than to claim you’re a contrarian, no matter how mindless your claim is. As I’ve already indicated, your level of argument is Pythonesque.

      • Cluster

        September 14, 2013 at 8:04 pm

        The argument clinic is one of my favorites, so a high compliment indeed. And re: my Kennedy comment, you have to let me have my fun. In fact I think John Cleese himself would have said the same thing.

  4. daruttan

    September 14, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Ricorun; is that why you voted for him? Because you supported his stand on transparency? If so, then I understand your frustration! If not, or (god forbid) you didn’t vote for him then maybe you need to lay claim to his inability to accomplish everything he set out to do. If people supported, and pressured their own elected officials to support, issues such as this then maybe he would have been able to accomplish more of his good works. It’s like hiring someone to clean your house and when they arrive you handcuff them. Of course they aren’t able to accomplish the things they said they would, who’s fault is it?

    • ricorun

      September 14, 2013 at 7:01 pm

      daruttan: Of course they aren’t able to accomplish the things they said they would, who’s fault is it?

      Could you expand on that? Specifically, who’s fault do you think it is? More importantly, do you think government transparency is an important issue? If so, do you think your support of it should be predicated upon whether your preferred party is in power? For the record, I DO think it’s an important issue, and I DON’T think its importance should be predicated upon which party is in power.

      Also for the record, I voted for Obama the first time around, and for Romney the second. The reasons in both cases are complicated.

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