Skip to comments.Playing by Our Own Rules: My Two Cents on Overdoing It
Posted on 04/08/2006 7:49:07 AM PDT by Natty Bumppo@frontier.net
Playing By Our Own Rules
My Two Cents on Overdoing It
By David J. Aland 7 April 2006
Homeowners Associations are a mixed blessing. On the face, they are governmental microcosms Jeffersonian democracies in miniature; but they can also be a pain, albeit a necessary one. Essentially, all governments are a mutual agreement to limitations for the common good, but that only works when the governed agree to play by the very rules they have agreed upon.
Recently, I watched a gentleman rant at a homeowners meeting, because his property had been cited for stained siding. As he spluttered on, I realized that it was not the stain that bothered him so much as the fact that he had been cited by someone he considered to be of lesser expertise. He had been, to use the shudder-worthy expression, disrespected.
Not very Jeffersonian, or enlightened self-interest. But the philosopher Hegel might have had the right of it when he said that the principle need of all human beings is Recognition. But at what point does the need for such recognition trump our otherwise enlightened agreements for self-governance? That unhappy homeowner clearly would rather have a stained house than be told it was stained. While that may seem somewhat puerile, it is certainly not exceptional, and especially so in the Washington DC area.
Our national politicians are always ripe sources of hypocrisy and unenlightened self-interest, but none so much as Congressperson Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga) for unJeffersonian venality. McKinney, you may recall, was the Congressional Representative from Georgias 4th District from 1992 to 2002, when she was defeated, until being re-elected again in 2004.
She is the Congressperson who alleged that President Bush knew in advance about the 9/11 attacks; who supported Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe; who would appear with Louis Farrakhan, and whose father was outspoken in blaming the J-E-W-S for her 2002 defeat. She is the same one who attempted to secure a $10M gift from a Saudi prince after 9/11 that had terrorist apologia conditions attached to it, and whose campaign donors included convicted terrorist financier Aldurahman Alamoudi. She is the one who accused the U. S. government of pushing drugs in the ghettos, claimed that black Republicans had all black blood extracted, called her opponents neo Confederates, and advocated charging Homeland Security Director Chertoff with negligent homicide for his handling of Hurricane Katrina. She is the same one who spent Congressional office supply money to fly Isaac Hayes to Atlanta, and whose campaign was fined for accepting excessive contributions.
Needless to say, recognition should not be a problem for the perennially over-the-top McKinney, yet now a warrant has been requested resulting from a scuffle last week with the Capitol Hill Police for what she insists was the failure of an officer to recognize her. This is not the first time Ms McKinney has tangled with the Capitol Hill Police, but certainly the most serious, as she is accused of assaulting a police officer with her cell phone, apparently the latest celebrity fad.
The incident occurred while she was not wearing her Congressional identification, and refused to stop at a security checkpoint. She says the officer should have known her, despite a new hairstyle. Obviously, the police do not agree. Members of her own party, miffed that she has stolen the limelight from their recent attempts to flog out a flaccid security strategy, are keeping their distance, as are members of the Georgia delegation as well as members of the Black Caucus. Meanwhile, McKinney has taken a high-profile approach, accusing the officer of racial profiling, and hiring very obvious reporter-jostling bodyguards.
Congress manages the Capitol Hill Police, and it is Congress that sets the rules for how the officers interact with the Members. It should be a relatively simple calculus to play by the very rules you sponsor, no different in the Congressional Office buildings than it is in more humble homeowners associations. But, like the Man With The Stained Siding, Ms McKinney has chosen to place her own need for Recognition above the very rules that are supposed to serve the common good of her entire organization.
I have no doubt that every CHPD officer will henceforth readily recognize Rep McKinney for the chip on her shoulder as much as any facial feature or coiffure. As one of our elected officials, however, I would have thought that she might have had higher hopes for her own legacy, but her track record says otherwise. Its hard to respect those that disrespect themselves and show disrespect to others.
David J. Aland is a retired Naval Officer with a graduate degree in National Security Affairs from the U. S. Naval War College.
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