Sunday, April 11, 2004

Our corporate presidency

If anything, in the corporate world, performance counts over truth. And what matters most is keeping the money people, the stockholders, happy, except that in this case, the money people are....well, not us.

The Dr. Rice performance certainly was a masterful one, by all the accounts I've read. In the corporate world, being able to smoothly pass off the responsibility, the CYA maneuver, especially when you're called on the carpet is essential. If anything, it's a sign of weakness to apologize and take responsibility. That means you're giving them a reason to fire you. Truth is not important; it's how you can dance the dance and lodge all those silver bullets to satisfaction. At least, that was the case last time I peeked into the corporate world.

And that memo, the PDB, certainly if you scour it and take it for face value, you could accept the Dr. Rice reframes: nothing specific to be able to go after, historical document, yadda yadda yadda. Again, this is about the CYA solo she gave. And this whole thing is about finesse: how do you come across as in control and as a leader at the same time passing off as much responsibility as possible? This again is that corporate dance that seems to be the model for this presidency.

Those stockholders behind our corporate presidency may be pleased with the performance of Dr. Rice and for the unfurling of the Aug. 6 PDB. If you hold her to corporate standards, it seems as though she came through. She was strong and unremorseful. She indeed missed that silver bullet coming after her.

The reality is that this is pretty close to a corporate presidency: where the true stockholders are the money that put the president in place, not the American people. These whole shenanigans: the 9/11 commission, the performance of Dr. Rice, the putative appearance of our fearless leader with his co-president, the passing off of responsibility, the lack of apology all seem to be motions to appease the both the corporate stockholders as well as the apathetic and naive citizens of the nation. And just maybe, just maybe, we'll all forget where the real onus of responsibility should lie, meaning with her boss.

Lost are certain key ingredients: Gary Hart and his role in warning the presidency, why there was no shaking of the trees ala Richard Clarke, why the lack of curiousity and action after receiving the Aug. 6 PDB, many others ending with the grand questions: what did he know and when did he know it? If anything, this whole thing highlights the nightmare that is currently going on in Iraq. All this brings to my mind the Alien movie series. It's not a best fit analogy where you have a corporate entity more concerned about profit motives than the monster it unleashes. This corporate entity, I fear, is in charge right now in the presidency.

I'm hoping the individuals in this nation will soon realize a corporate presidency doesn't help our interests and that our safety, sanctuary and survival are at stake due to the president that is in office right now. It doesn't help that our media, also corporate owned, are seemingly aligned with the interests of the current presidency and that most don't realize it. And in the end, ultimately, this is our responsibility as well, that we have all fallen asleep, become passive as a nation, and allowed scoundrels to take over. My own blogging sense is that while it's important for us to stay on top of this, it is also time to reach out beyond this world. Writing this out helps me to formulate my thoughts as we go out to do our bunny thing. While my world tends to be less progressive than more, I'd like to think of my efforts as planting seeds with the hopes that some are sure to sprout.