Ethics Observations On The President’s “Funny or Die” Appearance.

You should watch the entire “Funny or Die” bit here.

1. As has been obvious from the beginning of his administration, President Obama has retained the most incompetent, tone-deaf, leadership-ignorant and inept advisors in recent history, and those advising his predecessors were nothing to be proud of. This means that President Obama has tolerated, and worse, followed the advice of such incompetent advisors. He also selected them. He is accountable.

2. For the President of the United States, in the middle of an international crisis in which his authority, power and stature is central, to submit himself as a prop in a comedy video is irresponsible, reckless, and shows abysmal priorities and judgment. Continue reading

Trapped In The Land Of Liars

Liars“In a certain town there are two tribes—one  always tells the truth; the other always lies. A stranger arrived in the town and asked one of the natives whether he was a Truth Teller or a Liar. The native answered, but the stranger didn’t hear the answer. The stranger then asked two other natives who overheard this conversation, what the first man had said. The first replied, “He said he was a Truth Teller.” The second replied, “He said he was a Liar.”

—-Old Brain-Teaser

Senator Dick Durbin (D-ILL)  posted this on his Facebook page:

“Many Republicans searching for something to say in defense of the disastrous shutdown strategy will say President Obama just doesn’t try hard enough to communicate with Republicans. But in a ‘negotiation’ meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told the president: ‘I cannot even stand to look at you.'”

Durbin, the #2 Democrat in the Senate, much like the #1, Harry Reid (and the GOP #1, Sen. Mitch McConnell, and…but I’m getting ahead of myself) is a serial shiv-master, adept at making explosive and unfair partisan accusations. This one is typically irresponsible and despicable, because he tells the tale of inexcusable disrespect to the President of the United States but does not attach it to any one individual. Unethical. Cowardly. If he’s going to blow the whistle, he has an obligation to blow it and point, so the accused can defend himself. The Golden Rule demands no less. Of course, this method indicts all GOP leaders, which is Durbin’s design.

The Illinois Senator is also not very bright, and thus his account, which is also based on hearsay so he actually cannot know if it is true or not, does not prove what he purports it to prove. The President’s obligation to negotiate and communicate is independent of what any one lawmaker thinks or how that lawmaker may act. Durbin’s argument is the Tit for Tat rationalization: bad conduct by Republicans…or just this one Republican…justifies the President not doing his job. Dumb. Unethical. Unfair.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Sen. Dick Durbin!

But wait, there’s more!

Republicans at the meeting Durbin referenced denied his charge, but we would expect that no matter what happened.  The amazing thing is this: Asked about the alleged incident at a press briefing, White House spokesman Jay Carney, who didn’t have to say anything, replied that he had investigated Durbin’s story, and “it did not happen.” Continue reading

Anthony Weiner, Gov. McDonnell, Mayor Filner and the Rest: Degrading Democracy, Tainting Leadership

Hey, Mayor Filner, if San Diegans decide they have a proble being led by a serial sexual harasser, you can run for Mayor of New York!

Hey, Mayor Filner, if San Diegans decide they have a problem being led by a serial sexual harasser, you can run for Mayor of New York!

The mandate for leaders and potential leaders who have engaged in blatantly dishonest, corrupt, undignified or otherwise unethical conduct to remove themselves from office or consideration for office is not that, as hundreds of foolish pundits (like this guy) will try to convince you, hypocrites with a keyboard or a vote falsely pretend that such conduct is unique. There are two justifications for the unethical to resign from office, both undeniable and ancient. I have written enough, for now, about the first—that such conduct demonstrates untrustworthiness, the quality a leader must not have— and want to focus on the second, which is this: if they do not step down and away, such leaders and potential leaders mock the aspirations of democracy, insult its underlying hopes, and degrade, by their persistence, the standards of future leadership.

Once, this was thoroughly understood. Leaders who were exposed as lacking honesty, integrity, responsibility and respect for their own office resigned or withdrew from public life, as self-executed punishment and their last chance at redemption. Democracy, as John Adams wrote, is supposed to be a system that elevates the most accomplished, the most able, the most trusted and the most ethically sound to leadership, for obvious reasons. They are qualified to be leaders because, bluntly, they are better than the rest of us. They are also, because they are better, supposed to be capable of sacrifice and humility, and to recognize that power is a privilege, not a possession to be retained at all costs. Continue reading