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The all-white-male Congressional chairmen panel defies credibility and accountability

Updated on November 29, 2012
The all-white-male Congressional chairmen panel
The all-white-male Congressional chairmen panel

One of the things that make politics and politicians the laughing stock they are is the drama they create everyday. The Sept/Oct 2012 Yale Alumni Magazine has a report of How the Daily Show gets its laughs but there is no doubt that the most hilarious jokes are provided by politicians and their trade.

Yet, what we are seeing now should not be a laughing matter, not only because it defies logic, but even more because it is a matter of justice and common sense. This is about the GOP in particular.

Only three weeks after the GOP soundly lost the presidential election primarily because of its lack of diversity and grasp of contemporary trends, the Party unveiled an all-white-male panel of Congressional committee chairmen. Yes, chairmen in keeping with the etymology of the word!

This stiff-neckedness is indicative of an institution that chooses to be unresponsive to daily truths. It is a classic example of the ostrich that buries its head in the sand and convinces itself that nothing is happening above the sand. If this institution is so blinded by inability to distinguish between light and darkness, then there is need for public awareness.

Indeed, this is not about women's rights. We have come too far on these issues of rights! But we are talking about an institution whose decisions directly affect every individual's life one way or another. Blindness is definitely not an attribute of leadership.

The irony, and perhaps the drama for the comics, is the daily parade on television, of those from the institution, male and female, questioning this or that, but mute on this anomaly. Not only mute, but supportive and rationalizing what is irrational.

There are two issues here: one of credibility and the other, accountability.

Leading to the 2012 Presidential election, the approval rate of the Congress was at a low of 10%, making it the most unpopular institution. Had it been a monarchy or the papacy we could have relegated it to its gradual demise through time, but we are dealing with democracy here. Not only that, but this is a society at the forefront of chastising others about laxity in democracy and human rights. Where is the moral credibility for such voice?

The Congress is a representative body of the people. U.S demographics show a population of slightly more women than men. There are other equally important demographic factors that mitigate against an all-white-men Congressional entity. This raises the question as to whether those "representatives" owe any accountability to their constituency.

It appears from it's actions that, only three weeks after voters handed down lessons to be learned, the answer to the question is still no! The big challenge to the public lies in CBS's Bob Schieffer's comment on election night that once you elect these guys it is almost impossible to get rid of them because they spend all the time insulating themselves against such possibility.

The public needs to confront this dilemma because it is the right thing to do.


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