Raise your hand if you’ve seen the E-Trade commercial where the talking baby tells the adult “Here’s my surprised face…waaaaahhhh!!!”
That’s kinda how I feel in reaction to the Petraeus, Allen, (insert power-broker here) scandal. Another one of our “heroes” takes the walk of shame. And we react with mock indignance…and surprise. But really?
First of all, how many of us can claim the high ground 24/7 when it comes to matters of the heart (or more viscerally, matters of the loins)? I’m not saying this isn’t something to strive for, because it certainly is, but history is littered with stories of great men and women being taken down by their lust for sex. Add to that the narcotic of power and it’s a recipe for disaster.
Consider this: most of these brainiacs, doctors, lawyers, politicians, Generals, are over-achievers who have admirably spent the majority of their lives with their eyes on the prize and little else…yes, I mean developing the social and relationship skills that are a part of the maturation process. Picture the book-laden doctor who has endured years of nerddom and little to no social interaction with the opposite sex, who is suddenly cast as God in the Emergency Room or Surgical Suite and drives to work in the Maserati…yes, the hot blonde nurses suddenly find that Mr. Geek has become an aphrodisiac. I witnessed this first-hand in a previous life. I can only imagine multiplying that phenomenon times infinity in the case of those folks who make their living inside the beltway.
I’ve heard from folks who have visited the Capitol that the air is filled with electricity and the manifestation of power…they describe it as seductive. Well, it’s not hard to imagine then, the disciplined General, married to the dutiful wife of many generations, being taken by the equally driven hard bodied race horse who has set his sights on him…it would take herculean discipline to walk away.
I guess, beyond the critically important issue of whether laws were broken, I wonder why we are surprised and what makes us so self-righteous that we care…and feel the need to criticize and moralize. Clinton was rightfully taken to task for lying about his affair but wrongfully put in that position in the first place. The guy was getting some on the side…it didn’t break any laws and didn’t affect national security…let the damn thing go. Let’s all grow up and start acting like adults. We are crucifying some of the finest minds in this country because of an immature and childish desire for sexual retribution…it’s embarrassing and it’s time to stop.