Because Obama is a man with such a blemish-free private life, this could be a “Nixon in China” moment. It would be impossible for a Bill Clinton, say, to strike such a blow for sexual sanity. But given that even that insatiable sex fiend is back in the arena and much revered (by some), surely that means we have grown up enough to realize that just because you’re in public life doesn’t mean every aspect of your marriage is fair game. Yes, it’s been titillating to read the farcical details of Petraeus’ fling, and no one got more vicarious pleasure than I. But in the end the Petraeus so-called scandal is just the old story of a long-married man who strayed with a younger woman, a woman who unfortunately for all went a little nuts. I hope that for none of the participants it’s a marriage ender, but it certainly should not have been a career ender. …

But thanks to our ever-faster cycle of humiliation and rehabilitation, he has already been punished and paroled. It’s time to let Petraeus get back to work. It would probably even please Mrs. Petraeus to see less of him around the house right now.

Petraeus has already engaged the services of Robert Barnett, the Washington lawyer who gets former government officials seven-figure book deals. The word is that no book is planned, but surely Petraeus must want to tell his own version of his life. Let’s hope that Obama keeps Petraeus from embarking on this next chapter by asking him to return and finish the job he started.