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Post Partisan
Posted at 05:10 PM ET, 11/13/2012

PostScript: Forgiving Petraeus?

The David Petraeus scandal has reached its existential crisis point, even before all the Petrayals have come to light. PostScript for one is deeply saddened that the juvenile pun stage is apparently over, especially since there have been some excellent Freudian typos in the comments today.

Which makes it a super time to celebrate a new innovation in Post Comments. Comments to some articles (it looks like blog posts for now) can be shared through social media like Facebook and Reddit. Click the “share” button (next to “flag”) and make all your non-bleeding-edge commentator frenemies jealous!

But as Richard Cohen writes in today’s paper, it’s time to look at this scandal and wonder if it really should be a scandal. Beyond the juvenile puns and snickering, should the man really lose his job if it was only his personal life he betrayed? Cohen says no. Those of us not married to Petraeus can stop talking about it anytime now, and Petraeus can go back to doing his vital Central Intelligence Agency job.

Maxtheman agrees:

Get over it. He had an affair. He is still a brainiac warrior, one of our finest. Why should the country lose his services just because he had a silly affair?

Nice Stride, too, says it’s none of our business, or shouldn’t be. It’s shocking to learn other peoples’ secrets, but everybody has them:

I am nearly 60 years old. Over my life, I have personally known judges, teachers, public program administrators, public employees at all levels, police officers and higher-ups in the departments, business executives, doctors, an ordained minister, and people in more other kinds of jobs than I can name who at some point in their lives caught up in an adulterous affair. Almost all lived to regret it. A few ended up marrying their paramour and a few of those lived to regret that decision too.

TonyVance says that we’re all a lot more flawed than we seem on the outside:

I find the trust argument to be somewhat deficient. You can trust no one. Every single person on Earth is horribly flawed; each makes mistakes others would be shocked to see right up until the point they do something worse. General Petraeus is obviously not a great husband. That does not mean that his continued service cannot be highly useful and contributory. How does preventing his maximum contribution going forward help him atone for what foolishness he has engaged in?

mwnl, though, says that the private sin didn’t stay private:

This focus on the sex angle totally misses the point. Petraeus’s work included keeping secrets and not choosing which rules to break. He has shown himself incapable of that work.HE doesn’t belong in the job.

Patriot17 sees a big problem in how professionally entwined Petraeus and Paula Broadwell got as a result, maybe, of their personal connections:

It’s an attractive fantasy, sex where you get to walk away with no entanglements. I don’t know about you, but in my experience, it is a just a fantasy. Real women and real sex involves some sort of consequences. It’s the social part that gets guys into trouble. It’s the stuff you tell her after you’re lying there, thinking about how smart you are when in fact your brains have turned into mashed potatoes. Problems that, if you’re some average guy like me, are a source of some difficulty, but not a matter of national security. But in Petraeus’ case, what he told her might easily have been a lot of stuff that he shouldn’t have told her, especially since he was used to sitting for long periods of time and telling her things about himself.
Broadwell isn’t some floozy that Petraeus met for a night and then walked away from, she was a floozy that he spent A LOT of time with. She was his BIOGRAPHER. Her job was to sit and listen to him talk about himself for hours. Do you think he might have told her some things he shouldn’t have? Oh, of course not! He was our top spy. He’s plenty smarter than that.

Newsmom just hopes we can use this experience to realize we need to grow up:

It would be a truly wonderful thing if we could get past our preoccupation with prurience. Let’s get aroused by something other than sex, folks -- like fortifying urban infrastructure; divining a way to pay for a national health care plan; cranking out high school and college graduates who can read and who can find Pakistan, Afghanistan, Paris and Rome on a map.

Now if you’ll excuse PostScript, she believes the General John Allen scandalet is still in its larval immature pun stage, and her attention is needed over there.General Disarray, perhaps! Hmm.

By Rachel Manteuffel  |  05:10 PM ET, 11/13/2012

 
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