Wednesday, April 13, 2005

On Asking but Not Recieving

Apparantly, the White House website has an "online interactive forum where you can submit questions to Administration officials and friends of the White House," called Ask. Friends of the White House? Would the National Archives be one of them? Do checks and balances prevent the Capitol and Supreme Court Building from getting too chummy? Will archealogists from the future dig up the White House cornerstone and discover an etching from the Smithsonian, signed, "BFF [Best Friends Forever], Smithy"?

Or, maybe "White House" is just a type of metonymy, representing the president and the executive branch.

Regardless of my momentary confusion, I thought I would take a look at what the most recent Ask session brought. U.S. Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales was charged with fielding questions this time around and did he get some doozies! Look at this one:
Teresa, from Middleburg, VA writes:
Mr. Gonzales, how has your role in serving the President changed from being his lawyer to being his Attorney General? Thank you for your time

Alberto R. Gonzales
Good question, Teresa. My role has indeed changed since being confirmed as Attorney General. While I was Counsel to the President I served as the President’s lawyer. As Attorney General my primary allegiance is now to the Constitution and the American people.
Since the President has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution and represent the American people as well, I hope that Gonzales new role won't put him at odds too much with his previous one! Here's another Q & A:
Chris, from Connecticut writes:
Attorney General Gonzales,I feel like I hear so many different sides of the Patriot Act. Could you please tell me exactly what it is, why we have it, and when it was enacted?

Thank you for the facts.

Alberto R. Gonzales
Thanks for your question, Chris. The Patriot Act was enacted with great care and overwhelming bipartisan support in October of 2001. The act provides law enforcement and intelligence investigations with additional necessary tools to protect America.
That was a pretty short answer; I don't think it really gave too much attention and nuance to the question. In fact (since Attorney General Gonzales is giving them out today), I think that maybe this answer--and maybe the whole forum--is somewhat ridiculous. I understand that the White House's website is not going to have anything on it that directly criticizes the president. But, can't they just leave this sort of stuff out altogether? It seems a little unseemly for the chief executive's website to have such softball sections pretending to be more than what they are.

Of course, it's not only the administration that can be criticized. Look at what one of us asked:
Rick, from Worcester, Mass writes:
Sir, Congratulations on your confirmation. Despite the cries of those who are opposed to the Patriot Act, I do not know anyone who has been affected by it in a negative manner. What would you say to those who irrationally oppose this Act?
It seems that Rick has been a little irrational himself (if you define irrational as not being logical). After all, he seems to be implying that the Act isn't all that bad or hasn't negatively impacted folks. That's fine, but he might be overstressing his own personal experience in order to provide evidence for his claim. Is it possible that even though Rick doesn't know anyone who has been "affected in a negative manner," that there are still people out there being so affected? How do we know that Rick isn't some sorta hermit who doesn't know anyone?


Post a Comment

<< Home