Wicked Counsellors

W. surrounded himself with Yes-Men, Vestal Virgins, and even the classical “Wicked Counsellors” (e.g., Rove, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, etc.), just like the worst English kings were traditionally said to have done.  This is part of why Parliament took charge of the King’s/Queen’s counsellors and administrators – so now “parliamentary democracies” are virtually or actually ruled by elective politicians and suckups, instead of royal court politicians and suckups.

Amid the latter, at least, usually you have one person who has some idea what s/he’s doing – the Monarch!

Actually, Parliament started out as “the Great Council of the Realm,” not a legislature per se: The King was expected to take into consideration the input of his bishops and abbots (ie, the educated, lawyers, diplomats, etc.: “Lords Spiritual”), generals (ie, the nobility: “Lords Temporal”), administrators, even elected representatives of the commoners who had some idea what they were about.  The U.S. President has no Council, nobody whose input he’s expected to take into account.  The Personal Rule of ‘George IV’ is in many ways similar to The Personal Rule of Charles I – whose head Parliament cut off.

The Federalist Papers parody the idea of an Executive Council as no more than a way for colonial governors to either be hamstrung, conspire, or hide the blame when they do something wrong or unpopular.  But in their time there was still the King’s own Privy Council, which then generally, practically still had less power over him than colonial Councils over their governors.  Gee, wonder why they left that out?!!!  (As you know, this isn’t the first time I’ve caught the Federalists “spinning” the truth in their favor and against the rest of us.)

A ‘council for the Counsellors’ might sound redundant, but be a way to improve the problem of Prime Ministerial Dictatorship, too.  But can’t it be depoliticized somewhat, maybe via a “blue ribbon panel” approach???  Because one would prefer advisors and administrators who know what they’re talking about.  Obviously there are often honest disagreements among “those who know what they’re talking about” … which is why a head of government really needs to put them together in a room working together to come up with the best idea, rather than going just with the ones of his/her class, party, religion, race, ethnicity, region, or worst of all, Yes-Men, Vestal Virgins, and Wicked Counsellors.  Experts may not be without political agenda also … but usually they can call each other on their sh*t too, which is why you really need a diversity of viewpoints on such a panel.