There may be more to the story of the extra marital affair causing David Petraeus to resign as CIA director. There are always stories of secrets and spies bound up with sex. Isn't that what attracted audiences to Homer's Iliad for a few thousand years?
But for the moment, let's assume there was nothing more than than a middle aged man at the top of a spy agency, deep into a thirty plus year marriage and wrestling with professional difficulties who was having an affair. It could have been the president of the United States. Not too long ago, it was.
Petraeus' mistress was apparently inclined to share news that she was having an affair with the man at the top of the CIA. Of the distractions that can mar a nation's attention, and the power of the president to pick and choose among them, President Obama didn't have a choice but to accept Petraeus' resignation. He has other irons in the fire, so to speak.
This would not be the time to gin up the conservative engine of moral relativism. God help us all: we've had enough of that lately. But it is always time to point out, that some of the worst sex offenders and cruelty has been met out by the holier-than-thou's -- from clergy to Boy Scout troup leaders, not to mention the odd moral standards of the nation's late, longest-serving FBI director.
If I were president of a more perfect world, I would have declined Petraeus' resignation because in a more perfect world there would be space for a president to have this conversation with the public; that individual liberty is exactly what it means even when our heroes confound our expectations.