Roll Eyes and Sigh

| July 14 2012

The Fast and Furious debacle and the tragic death of Brian Terry needs to be settled soon.  Not only am I tired of hearing about it, but I am tired of feeling powerless to affect this situation gone awry and cringe at the thought of the bad messages it is sending to our families and the world.

Children reach a sassy age and learn that when expressing displeasure or boredom with adults, they can do so wordlessly by rolling their eyes and sighing (RES) instead of saying “Duh,” “You have got to be kidding!” or “I know that,” which would for sure get them in trouble.  When my boys did the RES, I fussed at them for being impolite and sassy.  Now, I find myself doing the RES because I feel powerless in my displeasure and disappointment with the handling of the Fast and Furious scandal.  Just how hard is it to have law and order at the highest levels? Accountability, discipline, honesty, and ensuring the right grownup are in charge work very well at home and should be enforced at the highest levels

Honesty and Accountability:  In my house, if you lie you get in big trouble.  If you own up to the wrong, the crime is less severe.  Obviously Attorney General Holder lied.  Under oath he denied knowing about Fast and Furious, when nearly a year before he saw a memo about it. Had he owned up to the wrong and admitted devastating mistakes were made, and everyone involved had been punished, I would still be appalled by the crime, but impose a less severe punishment.  Let’s get on with the discipline.  We are past the point of a slap on the wrist.  He lied and there is more that the Administration is covering up.  What sort of lesson are we teaching America’s youth?  If you lie and the President sticks up for you then it’s ok?

Discipline:  My children know that lying, harming others and engaging others in the cover-up would result in a punishment something like this:  a personal apology to those harmed, a penalty that would do something unexpectedly kind for those harmed, denial of play time with the others engaged, and “ratting-out” the accomplices to their overseers.  I’m a big believer in targeted discipline for the offender.  Holder made serious mistakes and he has told lies.  He may have done so to protect others, or because there is more dirt yet uncovered.  But unpunished crimes at the highest level must include discipline.

Ensuring the right grownup is in charge:  Occasionally I found out that my sons spent time with others whose parents were a bit lax about discipline.  Water balloons thrown while standing on a second story rooftop under the supervision of another boy’s Dad meant future visits were allowed only if the mother was supervising.  I found the boys visiting inappropriate websites on the computer so I installed software to monitor its use and limit access.   Obviously the grownup overseeing Holder isn’t telling the truth either.  The right grownup needs to be in charge.