Your editorial I think overlooks the inherent priorities that must be present in a DBA's role.
First, the data must be kept *safe*, full stop.
At the bare minimum that means reliable backups. Before ANYTHING ELSE that is the only thing that matters. After all, if there's no data there's no presentation, there's no anything. Including a company. 🙂
After backup comes security, of the "need to know" variety. The only thing worse than not having any data is oversharing--just ask the NSA, Hacking Team, OPM... 😎
Only when these two things are taken care of should you worry about the rest. It's the old "draining the swamp" shtick. Doesn't matter how pretty the bulldozers are if the construction crew is gator chow, right?
It doesn't help that management has no real belief in these priorities either. Either that or they have a touching faith that DBAs have some kind of magical ability to do these things without expending any time or effort...