Resignable Offense

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An act of an office holder that is grounds for their resignation.

Resignable Offenses are purposefully separate from Impeachable Offenses and outright Criminal Offenses because they make it clear that the burden of policing policy must fall first on the policymakers themselves. That is the contract of leadership: that you are responsible, you are accountable, and you will resign when you have transgressed far enough beyond the boundaries of decency, especially in your official duties, without prompting.

Violate that contract, and a contagion starts to spread in government: "Well, they didn't resign over that, so why should I?" And so the essence of good government begins quickly to rot, and corruption and malfeasance begin to need no apology much less resignation. This feeds on itself until a revolution occurs, cleaning the mess in a general purge.

That most certainly should not be necessary. And press coverage should be the last, and not the first, opportunity to resign. One's conscience must be more than enough if one is fit to serve.

Without self-policing and requisite honor, government is far too easy to abuse. "Executive Privilege," as seen in Dick Cheney's energy task force, and "National Security" can be invoked ad infinitum, if ever challenged. But really no one has the ability to adequately police a gov't, bloggers' best intentions and a Freedom of Information Act not withstanding.

(From What happened to resignation?, a diary by peeder)

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