• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    Beata on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Seagrl on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Seagrl on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Propertius on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Propertius on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Propertius on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    William on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    jmac on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    William on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Beata on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Beata on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Beata on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    William on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Seagrl on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Beata on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    November 2020
    S M T W T F S
    1234567
    891011121314
    15161718192021
    22232425262728
    2930  
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Open Thread
      Use to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts.
  • Top Posts

Emily Murphy, Gruppenfuhrer

Emily Murphy, head of the GSA, is not doing her job. Not only that but she was supposed to testify before the House of Representatives today but preferred not to. Her office reports now that she will only testify to two Senate committees on Nov 30.

There’s no reason for talking to the Senate but not the House except that the Senate is still in Republican hands, for now, and the House is run by the Democrats. We’ve seen this kind of shenanigans before with witnesses in the last couple of years. It’s sheer, utter contempt for the House, refusing to be held accountable by people they feel are irrelevant and powerless. I’m not sure that last bit is true. It’s just whether or not Nancy Pelosi wants to use it.

So how did Emily Murphy go from what is supposed to be an impartial civil servant position to Bartleby the Scrivener? Anne Applebaum writes about how this happened in the New Yorker. In short, Emily had a choice:

In the grand historical scheme of things, this particular form of delusion is not uncommon. A lot of historical and political-science work has been devoted in recent years to bureaucrats who become ideologues—though I cringe to mention it, because most of it applies to people in much more severe and dramatic situations. In the years since Hannah Arendt coined the expression banality of evil, a number of historians have begun to argue, for example, that most of the Nazi bureaucrats who later described themselves as “just following orders” were doing no such thing: They were active and enthusiastic partisans, imagining themselves to be brave members of the Nazi avant-garde. They thought they were good people.

A similar argument has been made retrospectively about the participants in the infamous “shock experiments” carried out by the Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram in the 1960s. Most of those who agreed to deliver a series of what they thought were painful electric shocks to a person in the next room were doing so not out of an ingrained instinct for obedience, as Milgram claimed at the time, but because Milgram had truly convinced them of the significance of their task. They didn’t see themselves as delivering pain, but rather being part of a cutting-edge scientific project.They thought they were good people too.

Murphy is being asked neither to participate in Nazi crimes nor to administer electric shocks. To do her job correctly, all she has to do is follow the law, let the transition begin, and allow the next president of the United States to prepare for the economic and public-health disaster that has been left to him by the current occupant of the White House. She will not be jailed or imprisoned if she starts the transition; and because Joe Biden will be president, she is going to lose her job anyway.

The only explanation for her behavior is the most obvious one: She has bought the ideology; she has become a true believer; she has accepted the lies. If so, she can look in the mirror and see someone virtuous, brave, and dedicated—a good person, just like President Trump.

I’m willing to entertain another reason. Maybe she’s trying to hide incompetence, grift and corruption for as long as she can. Maybe she is culpable?

Would that make her a true believer or just someone who took advantage of her position?

One thing is for sure, in either case, she is not a good person.

%d bloggers like this: