04-09-06Condoleeza Rice and Andrew Card (before last week) are examples of people in the administration that I don't particularly think are "evil" or insane, not crazed zealots like some of the others (some, like Cheney, Rumself, Wolfowitz, Rove, etc.. I think are somewhat mad - indeed great patriots, believing they are helping America, but with a complete loss of connection between their actions and reality, much like most fascist dictators). The sane ones are guilty of the great crime of expedience. That is, doing what they're told and doing it well, helping their superiors accomplish questionable goals in whatever way they can. I'm sure they say to themselves - I know this may not be right, but it's my job, I need to do it, I don't want to quit, and as long as I have the job I'll do it well. If they quit someone else will just replace them, so the best you can do is to stay on and do a good job, which will be good for their career in the future too.
Looking at this behavior from the outside, I find it inexcusable. And yet, I was guilty of the same thing at Oddworld. In my youth I refused to work in the system, and in the last few years I started to go with it more. Okay, I'll make little lies to my team if that's the best way to break the news. I'll agree to things that I don't agree with if that's less work than disagreeing, etc. Results-oriented optimization, choosing actions based on EV not morality. I thought perhaps to not be expedient was childish. Not so. I think the attack on stubbornness is part of the attack on "head in the clouds moral liberals". It's a way that conservatives/expedients make it seem wrong to go against them.