It’s “The List” that keeps on growing! Been trying to get this blog organized for a few days but things just keep happening to require updates almost continuously…
Retired General and CIA Chief David Petraeus seemed like a truly exemplary leader. When the news broke of his admission of an “extra-marital affair” it seemed so hard to believe. So hard, in fact, that the conspiracy theorists over at Fox News were immediately suggesting it was a cover-up for the Benghazi mess. But as the story has come out, it appears that the straight-laced general was not laced so tight — he’s just like every other guy! Something comforting in that, actually…. and why does it seem so odd that we at least feel grateful that at least he did not drag the nation through the all-too-familiar dance of denial? At least he owned up to the truth quickly. Such a sad story…
But it gets worse! As the story has tumbled out in the last few days, now we learn that another top military officer, General John Allen who is running the war in Afghanistan, somehow found the time to engage in 30,000 pages of email exchanges with Jill Kelley, the woman who blew the whistle on the Petraeus affair (and now there’s something weird with the FBI agent to whom she first reported threatening emails regarding Petraeus). We don’t really know what’s up with that, yet, but seriously, where there are emails, there’s fire.
Hello? 30,000 emails? No wonder we’re losing the war!
And didn’t anyone send the nation’s top spy and top commanding general a message about not sending incriminating information on email? Good heavens.
Then there is the tale of the incoming CEO of Lockheed Martin, Christopher Kubasik, fired before he could even order new drapes for the corner office that will never be his. He allegedly had a relationship with a female employee of a subcontractor.
We need a bigger scorecard, that’s for sure. And I’m not even getting into listing clerics and Boy Scout troop leaders, that would require several more blogs.
The fact that bad behavior among powerful men is no longer shocking is a sad commentary on our modern culture. Sure, history is rife with tales of orgies and infidelities of leaders from Roman Emperors to the Borgias to U.S. presidents galore. Yet, we still want to think better of our leaders, and we still hope that they will act as role models for rising generations. Perhaps we expect too much; or perhaps we don’t demand enough. The more inured we become to scandalous behavior among powerful public and private leaders, the greater the erosion of the fundamental values holding our fragile social compact together.
I offer no solutions, only the worry that we have to find a way to restore a sense of ethical propriety in leadership life.
Arnold Schwarzenegger (former Governor of California)
Dominique Strauss-Kahn (former head of the IMF)
Silvio Berlusconi (former Italian premier)
Mark Souder (Republican, Indiana Congressman)
Ben Roethlisburger (NFL Quarterback)
Tiger Woods (remember him?)
David Letterman (Entertainer)
Rick Pitino (Basketball Coach)
Mark Sanford (Republican, South Carolina Governor)
John Ensign (Republican, Nevada Senator) (still under investigation!)
John Edwards (Democrat, former VEEP candidate, North Carolina Senator)
Eliot Spitzer (Democrat, New York Governor)
Larry Craig (Republican, Idaho Senator)
David Vitter (Republican, Louisiana Senator)
Rudy Giuliani (Republican, New York Mayor)
Kwame Kilpatrick (Democrat, Detroit Mayor)
Newt Gingrich (Republican, former Speaker of the House)
Bill Clinton (Democrat, former President of the United States)
One entire list devoted to Penn State
Another list devoted to Biggest Liars
And a very special DC Edition