Just A Guy

Just A Guy

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"I Am Not A Role Model", revisited

Since my screed yesterday, Michael Phelps has not suffered any loss of income from the revelation that he's a pothead; however, as I write this, I just heard that Tom Daschle has withdrawn his name from consideration - this after the White House press secretary yesterday excused Daschle with a "nobody's perfect" explanation for his failure to pay six figures worth of taxes until after he was offered the job of Secretary of Health and Human Services. To his credit, President Obama took the blame for making the nomination, saying, "I screwed up". Regardless of my distaste for the choice of words from a sitting President, his actions in taking responsibility for the Daschle nomination, and that of his original nominee for the new post of "chief performance officer" (who also had tax problems), are commendable.

At the risk of a charge of piling on, I'll go ahead and make the point at which I was originally aiming (before the Daschle announcement): What does it say to our children when people who are role models because they achieved the recognition and fame they sought, suffer no consequences when their intentional bad acts are brought to light? Remember Charles Barkley saying, "I am not a role model"? Well, guess what? If people see you in a particular role, if you're in the public eye, you're a role model. Tough if you don't like it. As a litigator, I've seen what a bad witness can do to a case. That doesn't mean the witness wasn't a witness, it just means his word isn't worth much.

If there's a nugget here, it's this: to paraphrase General George S. Patton: "You're always on parade." People who seek the limelight need to be prepared to face the consequences of their poor decisions. Or as Christ puts it, "What you do in the dark will be seen in the light"

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