I listen, with wry amusement and not a little incredulity, to the tortured verbal stratagems that Obama administration officials use to define or justify their positions. It strikes me that their perspective is that:
- They do not make mistakes.
- Even if something seems to be a mistake, is really is not, “because Obama.”
- Any attempt to pursue a mistake and hold Obama accountable is an intolerable attack on his dignity, not to mention [–fill in your favorite smear(s)–].
- If Obama’s cohorts determine that what seems to us to be a lie or an illegal act is, in their eyes, a necessity, then it is the truth, and completely legal.
- The Obama administration is vastly more severe on itself than we could ever be; any attempt to police it should be left up to it. No one else is competent to do so.
This is a well-worn doctrine that Franz Kafka had clearly defined in the 1920s, showing it up for the nonsense it is. It is a pity that Obama and his followers have learned nothing from literature, not to mention history, and that they continue to think that we are as dumb and gullible as the denizens of Kafka’s novels. The following passage in Kafka’s The Castle is particularly enlightening:
[The village chairman, to surveyor K.] “…I want this man cleared of all blame even in your thoughts. One of the operating principles of the authorities is that the possibility of error is simply not taken into account. This principle is justified by the excellence of the entire organization and is also necessary if matters are to be discharged with the utmost rapidity. So Sordini couldn’t inquire in other departments, besides those departments wouldn’t have answered, since they would have noticed right away that he was investigating the possibility of an error.”
“Chairman, allow me to interrupt you with a question,” said K., “didn’t you mention a control agency? As you describe it, the organization is such that the very thought that the control agency might fail to materialize is enough to make one ill.”
“You’re very severe,” said the chairman, “but multiply your severity by a thousand and it will still be as nothing compared with the severity that the authorities show toward themselves. Only a total stranger would ask such a question. Are there control agencies? There are only control agencies. Of course they aren’t meant to find errors, in the vulgar sense of the term, since no errors occur, and even if an error does occur, as in your case, who can finally say that it is an error.”
And then there is The Trial:
[a priest talking to K.] “…No matter how [the doorkeeper] appears to us, he’s still a servant of the Law; he belongs to the Law, and is thus beyond human judgment. In that case one can’t see the doorkeeper as subordinate to the man. To be bound by his office, even if only at the entrance to the Law, is incomparably better than to live freely in the world. The man has only just arrived at the Law, the doorkeeper is already there. He has been appointed to his post by the Law, to doubt his dignity is to doubt the Law itself.” “I don’t agree with that opinion,” said K., shaking his head, “for if you accept it, you have to consider everything the doorkeeper says as true. But you’ve already proved conclusively that that’s not possible.” “No,” said the priest, “you don’t have to consider everything true, you just have to consider it necessary.” “A depressing opinion,” said K. “Lies are made into a universal system.”
The proverbial fly in the ointment is the stubbornness of K., who insists on calling it as he sees it: “Lies are made into a universal system.”
As, indeed, we must keep doing. Indeed, one might say that we are all K. now.