Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Google: "I don't blame Clinton."

It's amazing how many conservatives can forgive Clinton for his failures with respect to terrorism when faced with Bush's failures on the same issue.

That said, I hate the construction, "I don't blame X for what Y did to Z. I blame Y." It sounds like a call for responsibility, but it isn't. If X is charged with protecting Z, and Y nevertheless harms Z, then X does deserve the blame for the harm Y did to Z. Had X prevented Y from harming Z, you can bet X would be praised. Well, the flipside of praise is blame; if you want the possibility of one, you have to accept the potential for the other. Statements like "I don't blame X" want the praise, but not the blame. It doesn't work that way.

So I do blame X. I blame Clinton and I blame Bush, in proportion to their lack of diligence. Everyone else should do the same. If America expects its government to protect us from terrorism, then the government must be held responsible when it fails. Otherwise, we can expect nothing but further failure.