As I transitioned from mid level supervision to the world of administration, I began to value the overworked cliche, “collective reasoning”. After awhile, this concept became far more than simply valued, it became indispensable. When time permits, it renders the business of making decisions much simpler….and a hell of a lot easier to sell. In this age of specialization, there are very few folks that are gifted in a multi-disciplinary sense. To my knowledge, there has been no one since the Master sent his son, to teach and enlighten us, that was or is infallible……at least until the current President took office. As they say on the front porch in South Carolina, “Man…ain’t he something”.
President Barack Obama, in his latest display of omnipotence, has seen fit to toss the collective reasoning of innumerable jurists, jurors, defense attorneys and the legislatures that crafted our laws over the past decade or two and replace their tremendous collective reasoning efforts with his narrow and inexcusable commutations of the sentences of some 673 felons. That is no misprint, 673 and he is, by all accounts, just warming up. If you are into comparisons, and I am, this is more than the previous 10 Presidents combined. To be sure, every President has exercised his lawful authority, usually near the end of their administration, to excuse the conduct of some nefarious soul who they feel was worthy of the “second chance” they earned by not shoving a sharpened toothbrush handle into the jugular of a fellow inmate.
I worked in the criminal justice system. I have a deep appreciation for this system that is recognized as perhaps the best system in the world as we know it. I have not always agreed with the outcome in the criminal cases that I was involved in, but I never disrespected the system that delivered the result. There are aberrations in this business, which is not perfect, and juries deliver puzzling verdicts on occasion. (See Orenthal J. Simpson) Innocent people have been convicted. Perfection is elusive. Shaking your head in wonder is one thing, outright contempt is quite another. The disrespect for our criminal justice system exhibited by this President is an affront to every man and woman who has relentlessly pursued the information that is used to finally adjudicate the accused…whether or not a conviction is the result.
Back to collective reasoning. Generals have staffs, corporations have staffs, hospitals have staffs, as do kitchens and department stores. Smart administrators rely on these staffs to deliver a distilled, thoughtful summary relative to the matter at hand. I harbored a disdain for those who nodded affirmatively to my every suggestion, too lazy to offer a well reasoned argument or different perspective. I clearly understood that, in the final analysis, I was responsible for the decision at hand…….but I was not contemptuous of the system. Collective reasoning earned these felons their time out, arrogance and omnipotence is setting them free. A fine kettle of fish.
I can think of 673, and counting, reasons why this President is contemptuous of the system he is sworn to uphold. This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. The system is comprised of every conceivable demographic persuasion……it is about one man thumbing his nose at a system that has evolved over the years, and having the power to do so.
Ain’t he something!!!!