The CEO of federally-subsidized electric car company Tesla flew his private jet to Washington at least 12 times in about as many months. Oh, Elon Musk: You can't pull this crap when you're selling environmental friendliness and financial superiority.

The jets are yet another way the Tesla chief acts like a typical Silicon Valley startup founder, after his executive suite coups, brushes with financial disaster, résumé fudging and shameless huckster sales tactics. But a guy taking $465 million from the Department of Energy to save the environment and rescue the American auto industry from out-of-touch financial incompetents cannot afford to act like a typical Valley kingpin, especially when he has to talk to Congress as often as Musk does. He also can't act like one of those Big Three dinosaurs he's supposed to be replacing. Prepare to grovel, Elon — and to stress test that elusive Model S in the most public way possible.

(Pic: A Falcon 900 like Musk's, by Brent Danley.)