People are scratching their heads. Pundits are at a loss. The most politically savvy among us are reduced to admitting that they cannot say for sure why Donald Trump remained joined to the deeply suspect Mike Flynn until the president was, in effect, forced by the Washington Post to cut him loose.
The multiplicity of motivations for Trump’s behavior vis-a-vis his former National Security Adviser is as confusing as confounding. But the bottom line is this. It was bad leadership.
Bad leadership is, curiously, deceptively simple to define. Leadership is bad when it is ineffective. Leadership is bad when it is unethical. And leadership is bad when it is, simultaneously, ineffective and unethical.
So here’s where we are now. We do not know for sure why Trump’s leadership with regard Flynn was bad. Was the president being mindlessly ineffective? Was he being deliberately unethical? Or was he somehow being both? What we do know for sure is that good leadership it was not. Which is why Flynn at least – there may be others – will continue to haunt the White House so long as Trump is in residence.