More Life Imitating Art

Recognize this story?

An incompetent leader covers up his incompetence with arrogance and bravado, is hypercritical of anyone who annoys him or gets in his way but makes constant excuses for himself, covers his own mistakes by blaming those around him, acts brashly authoritarian and always certain of being in the right yet at odd moments desperate to be liked, distracts from substantial concerns with petty and far-flung accusations, makes ethically dodgy demands for personal loyalty, flies off the handle when confronted, and progresses increasingly from unbalanced to unhinged, until eventually he must be relieved from duty by his subordinates for everyone’s safety.  And his own defenders can’t keep him from shooting himself in the foot.

That’s Humphrey Bogart’s character in The Caine Mutiny (thanks again to my local PBS station).

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