In “Essay on Government”, Bastiat defined government as:
“…the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”
I would also propose that it can be defined as:
“Government is the great vehicle through which elected officials endeavor to inflict the pain of their errors on everybody else.”
That is why incompetency at any level of government should not be allowed and why obvious conditions of ignorance and ineptness should be forced out of government – even by those who have benefited from it.
Case in point – Shelia Jackson Lee. The only better illustration of this is Cynthia McKinney. Like Lee, McKinney introduced Articles of Impeachment against Bush. Good old Cynthia was such a complete nut-bag that she was finally shown the exit door – after six terms in the House of Representatives.
Rooting out incompetence is the very essence of an elected, transient, republican government as we have in America. The very reason for elections is to root out the ineffective and incompetent. The committee, caucus and even to some extent, the party system are other ways to marginalize incompetence through leadership positions in each…but they are also the means to institutionalize it when the objective is political power and not protection of our Constitutional principles.
The problem is that when a particular program or policy fails and there is great investment in that policy by one side or the other, it is a rare thing that the admission of failure is seen because to do so is also to admit that the ideology that gave birth to the policy or program can also be deemed a failure.
So, we don’t admit failure.
The political world is the only reality where its players spend a third of the time implementing something, another third hiding from the responsibility for its failure and another third trying to find a way to blame its failure on those who opposed it in the first place.
Government truly is the great vehicle through which elected officials endeavor to inflict the pain of their errors on everybody else.