Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 19, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

KILLING THE MESSENGER....Suppose you're the agency tasked with overseeing county programs for the developmentally disabled. And suppose a couple of workers at an adult day-care program were caught on cell phones abusing developmentally disabled patients. And suppose the video was made public. What would your policy response be?

Answer: tell workers not to bring cell phones to work, of course. Your tax dollars at work.

POSTSCRIPT: I'll say, in fairness, that this policy might very well be designed to discourage workers from invading the privacy of disabled patients. This was still pretty bad timing for announcing it, though.

Kevin Drum 12:02 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (15)

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Comments

Frist!

Posted by: Joe Bob Briggs on April 19, 2007 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you don't have to give the sort of benefit of doubt to suspicious officials that you do to defendents in criminal trials. But I do think it's worth mentioning that *just maybe* there's an innocent explanation. However, the policy was announced fairly clearly in response to what happened. It surely follows typical BushCo type policies, tho I don't know just how related to the Admin. this outfit is.

Posted by: Neil B. on April 19, 2007 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

There's a big difference in criticizing a policy than assuming guilt in a criminal case, Neil

Posted by: anonymous on April 19, 2007 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Video like this can be very easily edited and spliced together, to create a misleading impression. And the people implicated can't defend themselves, because to do so would violate the privacy of their patients. It's yet another smear brought on by the media.

Posted by: Al on April 19, 2007 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

If the video is pretty conclusive (haven't seen it), the two guys in question should be beaten within an inch of their lives. I'll be happy to do it, although I'll have to aks you to ship the guys out East.

Posted by: scott on April 19, 2007 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

I'll say, in fairness, that this policy might very well be designed to discourage workers from invading the privacy of disabled patients.

One might say that in fairness, but hasn't this Administration long since relinquished any claim to the benefit of the doubt? Sheesh.

Posted by: Gregory on April 19, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

"Al" wrote: Video like this can be very easily edited and spliced together, to create a misleading impression.

Well, I'll certainly grant "Al"'s expertise in creating misleading impressions. With that in mind, does "Al" have any evidence that this did in fact occurr, or is it merely misdirection as a feeble defense of yet more Administration misconduct?

Posted by: Gregory on April 19, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Al, would you respond the same if the "officials" were known to be Democrats?
Neil, Gregory: this is not about the Bush administration. The story is about a local Orange County problem with a state agency. Sure, the corruption in OC may well be a part of a greater pattern, but there is no connection, unfortunately.

It sure sounds like the employees supervising the "clients" could use closer supervision. The comment about someone using a phone to show a "clients" behavior to his family only reinforces the idea that problems are pervasive. These idiots are using patients for their own entertainment. It's a different kind of "crazy".

Posted by: buck turgidson on April 19, 2007 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

It's a different kind of "crazy".

I know nothing about this particular case, but in general the abuse of helpless clients/patients by those who are supposed to be caring for them is always fucking evil. Always.

Posted by: thersites on April 19, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

this is not about the Bush administration. The story is about a local Orange County problem with a state agency. Sure, the corruption in OC may well be a part of a greater pattern

I dunno -- they are Republicans, yes?

Posted by: Gregory on April 19, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

We have a vaguely similar episode here in Chicagoland. A camera hidden in a principal's office caught the principal having sex with a teacher and a teacher's aide. A DVD was made and sent all around, right before the election on Tues, which caused all the school board incumbents to be voted out.

The three haven't been charged, but they have resigned, while the cops are trying to find out who hid the camera so that they can arrest him/her/them.

Posted by: Disputo on April 19, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo: Saw a little bit of that on our local news here in Boston. What I wondered was: Were the parites involved consenting adults? And, if so, why did they have to resign?

And I don't have to ask -- why the hell did this affect the school board elections? Probably for the same reasn that Clinton's BJ cost Gore the election. (Or should we say cost him a theft-proof margin.)

Posted by: thersites on April 19, 2007 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

They were consenting adults, but 1) they were having sex on school property, and 2) I imagine that relations between a principal and teachers (especially threesomes) are against the school's code of conduct. Even so, could a principal who had been caught (on widely distributed DVD) having sex with a teacher at school ever again gain any respect from the students?

The school board had already been long seen as ineffectual, and this episode acted as a lightening rod around which the anti-incumbents were able to rally.

Caveat: I only know what the local press has reported.

Posted by: Disputo on April 19, 2007 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Even so, could a principal who had been caught (on widely distributed DVD) having sex with a teacher at school ever again gain any respect from the students?

There's the smartass answer but seriously it's a good point. Certainly not the kind of respect a principal or, more important, a female teacher (yeah, I know, double standard, but adolescent boys are what they are) should be looking for.

Posted by: thersites on April 19, 2007 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

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