Never mind the principles here. For all we know Kelly is privately a vicious misogynist. From a strictly cynical “I don’t care about spousal abuse but hey, it’s something the kids are worked up about” point of view, what did Kelly have to lose by issuing a terse statement that did not vouch for Porter? Even the most mealy-mouthed, wait-for-the-facts-to-get-out press release would have been acceptable to most reasonable observers. It cannot even be argued that he was blindsided here. It has been reported that Kelly knew about these credible accusations for months, an account that he was begging staff to contradict on Friday…

How this is compatible with the president’s wistful response to questions about Porter (“We absolutely wish him well”) is a brain puzzle no one should bother solving. Here is what I want to know instead. Nothing in Kelly’s biography before his first day at the White House suggests that he is anything other than a calm, rational, level-headed public servant. Even the president’s fiercest critics praised the decision. So what happened? Is 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. contaminated with some kind of brain plague unknown to science, a severely debilitating neurological disease that attacks the rational faculties of the affected and turns him into, well, a person like Trump? I can think of no other explanation.