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VB The Wise: The Kelly Conundrum

Sorry / Not Sorry

Doug 'VB' Goudie
October 24, 2017 - 6:10 am

So here's a question for you: who do you answer to, yourself or your boss?  I think 90% of us instinctively say ourselves, yes?  But the reality is 90% of us, when ACTUALLY faced with that choice, err on the side of the boss, no? The gray area arises when your wishes conflict with the boss's, and in those cases most of us zip the lip and move forward.  That's why Harvey Weinstein was allowed to do what he did for so long - he was the  boss, and almost no one was willing to take the boss on, even though their personal wishes were that he knock it off.

   Which takes us to General Kelly.  For many, as Senator Bob Corker famously said, General Kelly is the adult in the White House, he is the "wall" between order and chaos.  And we (90%) all respect him because he has earned that respect with his years of sacrifice and service.  But now General Kelly faces a dilemma, as we all have at one time or another.  Congresswoman Wilson has demanded Kelly apologize to her for his having called her an empty barrel who tried to take credit for getting $20 million in funding for that FBI building in Florida. (The video of her does not back Kelly up on his version.)  So what does General Kelly do- apologize, or not apologize? Regardless whether you think Rep. Wilson is an "empty barrel", Kelly was wrong, and does anybody doubt that under different circumstances, General Kelly would personally seek out the Congresswoman and apologize to her for his error?  I believe he definitely would.  And by "different circumstances' I mean the General NOT working for POTUS Trump.  Therein lies the rub; remember, POTUS Trump has a "never apologize" philosophy, and there can be no doubt that he does NOT want General Kelly apologizing to Rep. Wilson under any circumstances.  So what should Kelly do?

   Well, referencing back to his fantastic speech last Friday when he made the error, it was Gen. Kelly himself who said "when I was a kid growing up there were a lot of things sacred in this country."  The question is, what would THIS Chief of Staff Washington General Kelly want that young kid Oak Square Brighton General Kelly to do in this circumstance?  My guess is he would tell the kid to make it right.  And isn't apologizing how this is made right?  But POTUS Trump would see that as a weak move, and POTUS Trump could care less about that Oak Square kid.   Kelly knows this, which is why he's boxed in.  The problem for him is that while he has the image of a little boy from Oak Square in his head, he also has the image of POTUS Trump staring him right in the face.  And those two have very different wishes on this particular issue; one is idealistic, in a vacuum, the other is harsh reality in the here and now.  The next day or two will tell us which one wins, and I'm rooting for the little boy, but my money's on POTUS. 

 More wisdom next week. ​

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