Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Accountability, Oh, What a Feeling!

I remember a time, and it seems so long ago now, when a faux-folksy gentleman came out of Austin and decided to run for president. As I remember, he used to talk a lot about accountability. He was going to be a CEO-president, you see. He was going to appoint good people, give them authority, and hold them accountable. Just to see if my memory served, I went back to the transcripts of the presidential debates that year, and checked. Sure enough, that guy used the word “accountability” no fewer than 10 times.

There have been many times since then when I have thought about that with a growing amount of bile (the infamous press conference when he couldn’t remember a single mistake he made is an example), because I don’t know if I’ve ever seen any group of people worse at actually holding people accountable for their mistakes than the Bush Administration.

In that vein, Mike Brown, Arabian horse enthusiast and disgraced FEMA director, came to Capitol Hill this morning.

Much like his boss during that press conference, Mr. Brown was asked what mistakes he felt he had made, and his response was rather telling. One of his problems, you see, was that he didn’t manage his time with the media very well (you see, it’s the media’s fault). The other is even more typical of these guys. The problem was that he wasn’t quite able to keep those horrible, incompetent Democrats, Blanco and Nagin, from screwing everything up.

Accountability, indeed.

Now, a Republican would point out that Brown has, in fact, been fired (held accountable, as it were), and to an extent, that’s almost true. But it should be pointed out that Brown is still working at FEMA at full salary! He’s been on the job since he was asked to resign for rank incompetence, and will be for another couple of weeks. All told, he’ll be on the FEMA payroll at full pay for a month. According to the Plum Book, he is an Executive Schedule, Level III official, which means his annual salary is $149,200 per year. That means that, in the month after he was asked to resign for rank incompetence, Michael Brown will be paid more than $12,400 of your tax dollars.

Accountability, indeed.

Oh, and if anyone is curious, I also looked up the 2004 debates. Anyone have a guess how many times that guy said the word “accountability”?

That’s right. Zero.

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