|"Mack The Finger said to Louie the king"|
So, as despots know, remove accountability and you have removed democracy ... and replaced it with demockracy.
The shocking news today is about whether or not the president can pardon himself, his family, and his staff, but not only that, an associated discussion to that news is "when will the president fire the Special Investigator Mueller" (Washington Post: Can Trump pardon anyone? Himself? Can he fire Mueller? Your questions, answered).
The essence of this discussion was portrayed, in the first post of this series, as:
Most any academician will have a rap for this subject of accountability, which will go something like:(When Accountability Is A Plague). There is a parallel concept that goes along with the notion of accountability, in the sense of the other side of that coin, which is called immunity:
Accountability is the missing conceptual link in the current debate over how best to advance democracy. Democracy affirms the need to justify decisions made by citizens and their representatives: it is a system that connects the values of the individual with the decisions of the collective. The preferences of citizens revealed by fair elections (representation) or organized and definitive discussion (deliberation) are the starting points of democratic legitimacy.(The Accountability Ladder, PDF, emphasis added). As it turns out, accountability is an important, required, and essential ingredient for U.S. Democracy.
A clearly defined accountability system is crucial to any system of representative democracy because citizens, through their vote, legitimize or give authority to leaders to act.
This is offered to replace the more difficult way, which is "follow the money", because that way has become very difficult, what with all the secret offshore banking systems that are now operational:(Follow The Immunity). The mantra "follow the money" leads to a place on Highway 61 that is not the end of the road.
The mantra for such investigations used to be "follow the money", but (since that requires looking into offshore banking systems) for we amateurs there is an easier mantra: "follow the immunity."(ACLU vs. Clapper, Alexander, Hagel, Holder, and Mueller - 3). Take for example, Dick Cheney, who still brags about torture in public, but fears no prosecution.
Ask "who has committed these crimes against the American people and their Constitution?"
Then list their names, and then finally ask: "have they been held accountable?"
If not, follow their dealings and their associates through the shadows, because since they are immune from prosecution for their crimes they have committed with impunity, they are in with those who have pulled off the coup (A Tale of Coup Cities - 4).
Assume that following the money leads to a criminal indictment of friends, family, and officials of the president, and that he pardons them.
They are then immune from accountability.
If any administration gets too cozy with pardons, which extinguish accountability, the next stop on Highway 61 is the land of impunity:
"Impunity arises from a failure by States to meet their obligations to investigate violations; to take appropriate measures in respect of the perpetrators, particularly in the area of justice, by ensuring that those suspected of criminal responsibility are prosecuted, tried and duly punished; to provide victims with effective remedies and to ensure that they receive reparation for the injuries suffered; to ensure the inalienable right to know the truth about violations; and to take other necessary steps to prevent a recurrence of violations."(Wikipedia). Think of the dictator of North Korea as a matured form of impunity, and think of the current president of the Philippines as a sprouting example.
It all starts with a decline in accountability, and accelerates when impeachment is off the table (Duterte impeachment attempt fails) due to gerrymandering (Gerrymandering - Geological Deceit?, 2, 3, 4).
The previous post in this series is here.