I suspect that when Paula Broadwell told Jon Stewart that her book about Gen. David Patreaus contained “no dirty secrets,” she was also stating to herself that there was also nothing dirty in Patreaus’s life, which at the time included an ongoing sexual affair with Broadwell. And there was nothing dirty about it. I’m presuming that it was, like all impassioned affairs are in the early and middle stages, beautiful and glorious, at least within the bubble of their private time together.

You’re not supposed to say stuff like this, I realize. You’re supposed to frown and shake your head and wag your finger and go “tut, tut” and “what a tragedy.” Which it’s now become, of course. But it wasn’t then. I’m sure they cared for each other a great deal. I’m sure that the feeling seeped right down to the marrow. This is the exact same madness that willful go-getters and regular Joes alike have tasted and savored over the millenia. It’s in our bloodstreams.