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Accountability to Those Who Pay the Buck-O'-Five

Ken at Popehat has a perfectly concise take-down of LZ Granderson's ridiculous CNN essay arguing against seeking too much information from our government about "Fast and Furious". I won't be able to say it better than Ken, so here are his words. (And if you're not reading Popehat, correct that in your RSS reader.)

But to go much beyond the criticism of these men runs the risk of learning that this great nation of ours is heavily involved in doing some things that are not so great.

It would be nice to see this as a wry comment on American willingness to overlook lawbreaking by the government when it is committed (at least nominally) in service of goals of which we approve.

But the straight-faced reading is too similar to what I have come to expect from the media to be certain of my hoped-for satirical reading. Right now scandals over both Fast and Furious and the government response to it are being spun in many places as a cynical partisan obsession. I have not the shadow of the doubt that many of the loudest critics of the government have partisan motives. But if we dismiss criticism of government misbehavior because of partisan motivations, we'll never entertain significant criticism of the government. We'll always have partisanship. We can't let it be an excuse to abandon our obligations as citizens to monitor and criticize the government.

Like Granderson, I know that "freedom isn't entirely free". It's not "squeaky clean". Unlike Granderson, and like Ken, I expect America to strive to be as squeaky clean as possible. Where we (allegedly) can't be, I want to know why. I want to know what my government is doing in my name. I do not want elected dictators.

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LZ Granderson has exhibited questionable critical thinking skills in the past. A year ago he wrote an essay against the San Francisco ballot initiative that aimed to prohibit non-therapeutic male child circumcision. It was awful in nearly every paragraph. His arguments were either incomplete or idiotic in every case.

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