McAdams On: LightSquaredgate, September 23, 2011

APPEARANCES, PLS.: Tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk, LightSquared. You are the proverbial bull in a china shop, aren’t you dear.

You seem shocked, shocked, that dispatching political contributions to the White House’s party whilst seeking a White House audience can be possibly perceived of as inappropriate. Doesn’t everybody do that, you wonder? Well of course they do, dear, but you don’t do it on the very same day, as your executives reportedly did. Twice. Obsequious overtures should come no sooner than three months after equal contributions are made to both parties. All under-the-table dealings should be carried out at social receptions or on golf courses by trusted emissaries. And never, ever email a “thank you.” Email is so déclassé and, well, obtainable.

Such delicate fellowship requires a more artful approach. One must execute a substantial favor for someone who cannot be traced back to oneself, and then said someone arranges a little something for the beneficiary-in-chief. Absolutely no gift cards from Target or Trader Joe’s. If you really want to make that lasting impression, think more along the lines of a swing vote.

But alas, LightSquared, given that you’ve already executed those awkward gift cardlike maneuvers, your best tactic is donning a cloak of invisibility. Lay low until the chatter passes, and ixnay on disparaging your adversaries. You might have noticed that they consist of nearly everyone in the known solar system. And how might that be? Have you seen anyone looking at a map, lately, dear? Not likely.

That is because we all rely on GPS devices to get us to the Four Seasons for a flute of Piper-Heidsieck. Your proposed broadband network that is entirely unrelated to that aforementioned political contribution causes us instead to arrive at Lefty’s Wander Inn, home of the Schlitz cocktail. Part of your strategy for resolving this dilemma is to blame GPS devices for not being able to adequately reject your network’s signals. This is a bit like saying that you did not hit your little sister, but that she walked into your balled fist. She may have been torching your life’s work at the time, but note how this no longer matters after you’ve taken the low road.

Now your social faux pas have landed you smack in the middle of partisan politics from which there is generally no escape. Whether or not you have a brilliant idea is no longer relevant. Whether or not your network could blanket the entire country with super-fast wireless broadband service hardly matters at this point. Whether or not you have a 10 cent part that could solve everything means little. What matters now is how you are perceived. Your name is fast becoming synonymous with political scandal. There is really only one thing left to do.

Change it.