Generally if someone was to hear the line “what do a CIA director, a guy who gave the South hearty breakfasts, and an anointed CEO of a defense contractor company have in a common?” he would assume a significantly lame punch line would soon follow.
However, on sex scandal Friday, there really was a common thread between these figures. CIA head David Petraeus, Waffle House CEO Joe Rogers Jr. and Lockheed-Martin up-and-coming CEO Chris Kubasik all had extramarital affairs brought to light on the same day, in a modern day Sexgate.
Now the situations around all these affairs were slightly different, with different people and consequences playing a role in the infidelity of these prominent men becoming the focus of national attention.
Petreaus was found having an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell, who was no doubt getting quite the inside scoop.
Despite his wife and the government being well aware of the affair that apparently had ended long before coming to light, the jealously of Ms. Broadwell that caused her to send threatening text messages to another woman she thought too close to Petraus was inevitably the cause of his demise.
Rogers Jr. had a complaint filed by a former personal secretary who said she needed that specific job as a single mother and continued to work for him after several repeated requests for sexual favors inside his home where she worked. After her son was awarded a scholarship for college, she finally brought forth this relationship to police.
Kubasik simply had a relationship with a subordinate, which violated the company ethics policy.
Currently Rogers Jr. is the only one who is not suffering any professional consequences. Since his affair occurred in his own home with a personal secretary, there’s not much Waffle House can do.
As for Petraeus and Kubasik, they aren’t so lucky as both stepped down from their positions. Which begs the question, what action should be taken against people in positions of power who are found to have extramarital affairs?
America, unfortunately, is not new to the concept of this happening, albeit depending on the person there are drastically different results. If you ask John Edwards, Tiger Woods, Herman Cain, Mark Sanford or a slew of others who all suffered major negative consequences, there’s a good chance the answer about the consequences of a mistress will be far different from those of Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich who still held their position of authority.
There is almost a double standard in the public opinion about actions such as these, as some view affairs as part of the strains on marriages as the men are away from their wives for extended periods of time or as they climb the ladder of influence. Others will maintain that the despicable actions of these men deservedly got them booted from their status.
While it truly is unfortunate for these men that from now to eternity an affair will be a top hit if his name is Googled, I also believe that they should be held accountable if their actions extend beyond their families.
In cases like Rogers Jr. or Petraeus where others aren’t compromised I think the issue should remain private and be settled among those involved, whereas Kubasik’s actions have an impact on his company so its only proper for him to step down.
These men will have to live with the aftermath of their affairs for quite a while. It is truly a shame since it all could have been avoided with just a little restraint.