Last week, here in the wonderful city of Nashville, TN representative Rob Briley apologized for his recent behavior. While on a drunken rampage, he led the police down busy streets at 100 mph, cursed at the officers as they handcuffed him and then pleaded with them to shoot him in the head. His wife says he has repeatedly been unfaithful and she’s filed for divorce. But last week, from the front of the house chamber, he acknowledged having problems and asked for forgiveness. Some of his colleagues applauded and hugged him. It seems all is well and we can go back to making decisions that affect all the little people.
Rep. Gary Moore, D-Joelton, comforted him by saying other politicians have demons, too. “I don’t see that you’ve done anything that any of us in this room have not done,” Moore told him. “Some of us are alcoholics. Some of us are thieves. Some of us are adulterers. Truth of the matter is, we reflect society.
“Hey, there’s a high standard to be proud of. Let’s just accept that we are a bunch of maggots and go on with the reality of our miserable lives? And with that “We reflect society?” Is that really a rationale for excusing behavior that puts other lives in danger? Would you tolerate this level of compromise in your company? Whatever happened to striving for excellence and for expecting more of those in positions of leadership and power? Does having money and power provide a pass on ethical and moral excellence – or should it raise the bar even more? I frequently take prospective business partners to lunch at a local restaurant. Watching them interact with the “lowly waitress” weighs heavily in telling me whether or not I want to do business with them.