Thursday, October 2, 2014

Word of the Month for October 2014: Culpability

Always someone else to blame
You ever been in a bind and your best option was to blame someone else? Politicians do it all the time. I've have yet to hear a politician or POTUS ever say, "I screwed up" or "It was my fault."  I mean, have these people never heard the phrase "the buck stops here?!?  I suspect that is the reason the POTUS surrounds himself with people who will take the fall.  Heck, why do you think the POTUS even has a cabinet of "advisors?"  It's so he can blame someone else when the water gets hot.

Of course, all of this boils down to our word of the month:  CULPABILITY.  According to Black's Law Dictionary, CULPABILITY is defined as: blameworthiness; the quality of being culpable.  Except in the case of absolute liability, criminal culpability requires a showing that the person acted purposefully, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently with respect to each material element of the offense.  Basically, it's use is to define whether someone is worthy of being a scapegoat.

Take, for instance Lois Lerner.  Ms. Lerner is what people might call a nobody and until rather recently, a very good nobody because no body cared who the heck she was.  That is, until she got a job with the IRS.  Seems Ms. Lerner played a key role in the IRS's practice of singling out conservative groups seeking non-profit status for extra scrutiny as head of the Exempt Organizations division.  As far as bad things to do, this doesn't really seem all that bad.  However, because Ms. Lerner won't play nice and give Congress what it wants, there are calls to charge Ms. Lerner with "misleading the Congress" under section 1001; Title 18 of the United States Code.  

Let's face it, no one really cares about Ms. Lerner - they just want a piece of Obama.  Fact is, no one cared about John Mitchell because they just wanted to take out POTUS Richard Nixon?  Remember Col. Oliver North?  Just a pawn to get at POTUS Ronald Reagan.  How about Monica Lewinsky's stained dress and her personally marinated cigars?  Yep, just another attempt to take down Bubba.  

While it is difficult to garner a conviction under 18 USC 1001, it is not impossible.  The fact that Ms. Lerner has put herself squarely between Obama et al. and Congress has made her a target.  Nobody or not, she's in someone's crosshairs, now.