Tuesday, November 13, 2012


When I heard the news on Friday, I was surprised, like everyone else.  My immediate reaction, knowing no more than most of the rest of the world, was to chastise Petraeus for not keeping his zipper locked.  Not because I care one way or another about the private lives of public people; I'm more tired of sex scandals than I am of the election just passed.  Knowing we'll have to endure several weeks of ridiculous nonsense, moral posturing, and all sorts of questions that are dumber than an entire book by Jonah Goldberg bodes ill for the holiday season.

After a few days, as details about what happened, how the investigation began, it has become clear that, far from some conspiracy to dethrone an American hero who was stopped in his tracks saving American lives by our Kenyan overlord in the White House, it seems the other folks involved in this business were more than a bit unhinged.

Whether or not Petraeus should have resigned is a question that might seem entertaining.  After all, as Echidne points out people from Bill Clinton to David Vitter have survived sex scandals just fine.  All the same, he did resign, and it's probably a good thing.  The emerging facts of the case - an FBI agent who disses the chain of command because he thinks there's some kind of cover-up; emails from one woman to another that probably are quite nasty (I haven't seen any of them yet, but I can imagine); two extra-marital affairs that created bitter feelings all around - seem to demonstrate that, at least in this case, a personal peccadillo created a professional exploding volcano.  Getting Petraeus out of any official capacity forces him to deal with the mess he created, instead of making the President lose political capital defending a man whose actions and associations are more than an embarrassment.

One more thing.  Attacking Petraeus's lady-friend in all this has already begun, and I know that's considered good sport to go after the hussy who brought down a "great man", but you won't read any of that crap here. She and he are both adults, both married, and both aware of what they were getting themselves into.  Her behavior, at least as far as any of us in the public know, may demonstrate some obsessive elements, but that does not mean she is more morally culpable than he is.

So far from some weird, Brobdignagian conspiracy to cover the President's butt as House Republicans demand answers that have already been given about the events in Benghazi a month ago, the unfolding facts seem to demonstrate it is exactly as it first appeared: Petraeus stepped down because he had an affair that impeded his ability to do his job effectively.  Of course, that's not really it, either.  Getting caught impedes his ability to do his job.

As a side note, I'm looking forward to the book from the FBI agent whose "worldview" convinced him there was a cover-up.  To be published, no doubt, by Regenry Press.  The right will soon enough have a new hero.

Virtual Tin Cup

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