For some leaders today, there is simply no honor in any of it

photo courtesy of pixabay

Arlington National Cemetery is a unique place. I have traveled to our nation’s capital many times and I still get excited every time I go. My wife spent a few months living there during a college internship way back in the 90’s, and her brother was stationed there as an officer in the Navy during that same stretch. Embarrassingly, neither one of us had ever been to the cemetery until Thursday afternoon.

I remember my first trip to Washington vividly. On that trip, I visited the Holocaust Museum. A colleague and I skipped out of the conference we were supposed to be attending and spent a few hours going through the experience like a couple of tourists. I thought I knew about the Holocaust and was honestly curious why a museum for it even existed. It turns out I didn’t know all that much about it. More importantly, I didn’t feel it. I do now.

The context of a person’s life or the times in which we are living is so important when visiting places like these. I will always remember what was going through my head when we were walking up the hill to two of the more famous gravesites at the cemetery.

At home in Indiana, our Attorney General, Curtis Hill was completing his testimony in defense of allegations of his misconduct before the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission. This is another shameful chapter in the book on Hill stemming from accusations that he groped four women at a party in March of 2018. It concluded with an extreme sense of clarity that Hill did exactly what these women say he did. It follows a damning report from the Indiana Inspector General last year that ended with an identical conclusion.

He is as guilty as the day is long. Hill and his team would like Hoosiers to believe that the entire matter is tinged with political motivations and is somehow a conjured and coordinated smear on him. Putting aside how the management in the Statehouse handled its review and response to the reporting of the incident to them, there is no inkling of any political consideration in the matter for the women. They are not simply “accusers.” They are victims.

Reducing the matter to political terms perpetuates the victimization of the four women. It is difficult to look to our state’s top legal officer with faith anymore. Whether he is sanctioned by the disciplinary commission or not, he will always be exactly what these women say he is. He should be ashamed of himself for what he did at that party, but he should also be ashamed for the way he has handled the legal processes that have followed.

There is simply no honor in any of it.

In Washington, the U.S. House of Representatives is deep into the investigation phase of our nation’s fourth impeachment inquiry. The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of activity that have produced damning evidence that President Donald Trump broke specific laws and abused his power in his dealings with Ukraine. The substance of the matter has left the president’s defenders with nothing to do but engage in unhinged attacks on the process of the inquiry.

That controversial process is the same process that was used in the 2015 Republican Benghazi investigation. Primarily, the complaint is that the investigation is being held behind closed doors and Republicans think that this part of the process should be in public. It is as if they want America to believe that there won’t be public hearings in the House in the coming weeks, and a full blown trial in the Senate. There will be.

So, when embarrassing stunts like the Rep. Matt Gaetz-led storming of the secured committee room occur on Wednesday, many in America are confused. When Senator Lindsey Graham pushes a resolution condemning the House process, again many Americans don’t understand that much of it will be moot following the public hearings that will occur before a House vote.

These spin stunts are childish attempts to change the story that what has happened with Ukraine is absolutely impeachable. Again, there is simply no honor in any of it.

As I watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at 3:00 on Thursday afternoon, I was overcome with gratitude toward the men and women who were laid to rest there. The honor of them makes tolerating the dishonor of our times even less tolerable. On my next visit, I hope we will have risen above it.

 

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Michael Leppert

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