The news says the General Petraeus scandal is shocking Washington and the world.
I'm not shocked are you? I expect our secret agents to fool around. It's the 50th anniversary of the James Bond franchise. Bond is always getting naked and slipping in between the sheets with a beautiful woman.
I don't think what a person in their private lives ought to impact their professional careers. Sleeping with another woman does not mean David Petraeus put the nation’s security at risk. He may have put his marriage on the rocks but not the C.I.A. Millions of successful men and women cheat on their spouses. They don't resign from their position as financial advisors or dump their medical practice just because they fooled around.
The idea that Washington is shocked because of the Petraeus tryst is ridiculous. Washington knows whites going on before the rest of us do. They know who goes home with who after the cocktail parties and who works late nights at the office. They see people being more than just friends. More than just associates.
Washington is no different than the workplace. It's a small town. It knows its own business. It keeps track of its players. The only thing shocking in Washington is a downed power line.
The world isn't shocked either. Extra marital affairs are part of European politics. The higher up the official, the more likely it is they have a lover. In fact, most people in the world could care less about the sex life of the Director of the C.I.A. Sex has nothing to do with his competence on the job.
Why is it we think national security would be at risk? The woman he slept with has no connection with any nefarious enemies of America. This isn't a spy movie. This is sex.
Unfortunately, the culture suspects that a government official’s sex life is indicative of their performance on the job. It suggests that if someone fools around on their wife that they'll fool around with the rest of us and are not to be trusted.
You trust your financial advisor. Your doctor. All other professionals you deal with in your life. You don't dismiss them because they're having an affair.
Petraeus may be using the affair as any easy way to resign from the C.I.A. after this whole Benghazi thing has begun to raise some buzz. Congress still intends to talk with him about it, resignation or not.
Don't confuse someone’s romantic infidelities with their professional competence on the job. We accept it when our celebrities stray. We don't deny them Academy Awards for their indiscretions. Nor should we deny Petraeus the position of his Directorship for his marital complications.