First off, I have a sneaking suspicion that I actually know this Allen commenter in real life. But, then again, I always think I know the people who read this blog - even though I know no one in Atlanta.
But, Allen asks if we can compartmentalize public and private behaviors - or any behaviors.
I started asking myself with the whole sex scandal thing and Clinton. I had to ask if a person could be a wretched person but a good leader? Can you actually trust someone who would so easily break vows with the person they see on the pillow every morning to not break vows or promises with the faceless masses? I still ask myself that.
As for Vick - I think that many athletes compartmentalize, to some extent, the roles they play. And, I suspect "roles" is the exact right word for it. I believe that we ask athletes to be a lot of things we don't necessarily help them prepare for - like being a role model to kids -- or to be a responsible citizen with millions and millions of dollars at the easy ready. But, I also believe that we let athletes (and actors, celebrities, politicians, civic leaders, etc) have a pretty wide berth when it comes to our responses to their behavior. It is almost as if the more outrageous it is, the less we know how to react. If he tortured his lab puppy to death, we would be calling "off with his head" -- but since this was such an organized, wide spread operation, we're almost tempted to say "good show" -- except that it was so very terrible.
But lastly, on to the military. I know that mass consumption of alcohol is pretty common place in the military - especially with the newest recruits. I also am concerned that more and more, the folks seeing foreign service are the folks who volunteered for 2 weeks in the summer and one weekend a month - not the folks with the 6 months training. Additionally, the military doesn't insure that reservists get the same support services (or their families) regular army gets. It is all too easy for reservists to return to Iraq without getting "debriefing" or counseling.
A member of congress - I believe from VA, has proposed a law that would insure that military personnel be guaranteed the same length of time at home as over sees when doing combat duty. That means if they pull 9 months in Iraq, they can have 9 months at home before they can be redeployed. This seems to me an utterly reasonable proposal. However, it has met with opposition from elected types who say that politics ought not interfere with military deployments. Funny, the folks who are objecting to this bill don't seem to mind politics interfering with and an individual's medical decisions or politics dictating who can have the rights of legal marriage.
I'm just sayin' . . . . .
And, thanks for the thinking/talking points, Allen.