Comments on: Tips for toads: don’t philander on digital media. http://www.historiann.com/2012/11/11/tips-for-toads-dont-philander-on-digital-media/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sun, 21 Sep 2014 07:01:11 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: cgeye http://www.historiann.com/2012/11/11/tips-for-toads-dont-philander-on-digital-media/comment-page-1/#comment-1150804 Mon, 12 Nov 2012 21:57:41 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=19908#comment-1150804 The way we’ll know the fix is in: Mrs. Petraeus will be the successful graduate of a makeover and weight-loss program.

For men at the top, you see, they never fail; they can only be failed.

And this isn’t about the thousands of people who can be killed by Administration whim, that Petraeus participated in through the CIA’s own drone program; it’s about a gal who not only had an affair, but refused to go quietly when he ended it. So if it’s a speeding ticket, who exactly committed the moving violation, and who’s going to court?

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By: Shelley http://www.historiann.com/2012/11/11/tips-for-toads-dont-philander-on-digital-media/comment-page-1/#comment-1150503 Mon, 12 Nov 2012 16:32:58 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=19908#comment-1150503 Being powerful puts people in a bubble. Few are willing to endure the criticism and alternate views that would burst that. And hubris will bite you in the back.

“It’s not the sex–it’s the stupid.” And often, for the Republicans, it’s the hypocrisy.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2012/11/11/tips-for-toads-dont-philander-on-digital-media/comment-page-1/#comment-1150297 Mon, 12 Nov 2012 12:58:52 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=19908#comment-1150297 I don’t know, New England Nat: contrary to F. Scott Fitzgerald, who perhaps didn’t live long enough to have his own second and third acts, American lives are always about the next reinvention. I wouldn’t shed tears over Petraeus’s career–as Indyanna predicts, the worst he can do is a pretty good unemployment backup plan compared to what most people can look forward to after being fired at age 60.

About Mrs. Petraeus: I don’t know anything about her beyond what the media have reported, but I found it interesting that she was the daughter of a general at West Point when she met her husband. By most accounts, that was the beginning of David Petraeus’s brilliant career. My Mother in Law is the daughter of a very highly ranked officer in what was the Royal Canadian Navy. She has told me that she never, ever dated Navy men precisely because she feared they only wanted to take her out to advance their own careers and she was adamant that she wouldn’t be used in that fashion.

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By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2012/11/11/tips-for-toads-dont-philander-on-digital-media/comment-page-1/#comment-1149902 Mon, 12 Nov 2012 05:05:31 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=19908#comment-1149902 The worst I can see for Petraeus is a hedge fund somewhere or as a cable commentator. The two women will be left to slug it out on a midnight runway somewhere, like when that astronaut was two-timing his fellow traveler on the space shuttle and a navy flier from Florida and then probably walked into management. The media eats that kind of stuff up like rock candy. The brat wife has notable military ancestors going back to the American Revolution, so truly, he can probably forget about the distinguished visiting professorship at the Point, as well as the presidency of Princeton they were drumbeating for him just a few weeks ago.

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By: New England Nat http://www.historiann.com/2012/11/11/tips-for-toads-dont-philander-on-digital-media/comment-page-1/#comment-1149889 Mon, 12 Nov 2012 04:41:48 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=19908#comment-1149889 I don’t know if recovery is likely. Based on the sketchy information I would put money on their being a second woman out there who he was involved with that got the threatening phone calls. The military also doesn’t really forgive cheating on your army brat wife who has invested a lot of time in helping military families.

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By: Contingent Cassandra http://www.historiann.com/2012/11/11/tips-for-toads-dont-philander-on-digital-media/comment-page-1/#comment-1149821 Mon, 12 Nov 2012 03:50:39 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=19908#comment-1149821 After reading a profile in the Washington Post, I still can’t decide if Petraeus is a really smart guy who screwed up (in a big way) once, or a narcissist/megalomaniac who finally lost control and began to believe he was entitled to do whatever he wanted. There might be some parallel questions about the program he was overseeing: the U.S.’s use of drones.

The Jefferson/Hemings story is really complicated. Even if you can get past the whole slavery/power/consent issue (which I can’t), you’re then faced with the fact that Sally was his late (and, by all accounts, much-loved) wife’s half-sister, which either makes his attraction to her a bit more understandable, or even more icky, or perhaps both. Add in the fact that Sally was (at least theoretically) in Paris to care for Jefferson’s daughters (i.e. her nieces), and one has to wonder what living in that household was like for quite a number of people. The whole situation makes the Clinton-Lewinsky whatever-it-was look simple, and Petraeus’ adventure downright mundane (except, yes, for the stupidity, and related security breach, which is, indeed, the issue).

If one wants to get really convoluted, one could argue that Petraeus at least subconsciously needed a reason to resign so that he could investigate other possibilities (including political ones; I think it’s reasonable to guess that he could, with time, recover from this, since the stupidity doesn’t seem to have led to any actual bad consequences except to his reputation and, perhaps, his marriage. While he was stupid, he was not as colosally stupid as some others mentioned in the comments above; for one thing, I’ve seen no suggestion that he attempted a coverup, which is how both Clinton and Edwards really got themselves in trouble).

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By: truffula http://www.historiann.com/2012/11/11/tips-for-toads-dont-philander-on-digital-media/comment-page-1/#comment-1149766 Mon, 12 Nov 2012 02:40:27 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=19908#comment-1149766 speeding ticket

I suppose that whether or not cheating on a partner is equivalent to speeding depends on what promises were made and how seriously the partners take whatever “commitment” they made. If you feel you need to cheat on a partner, fine, but be willing to accept the consequences, whatever they may be (yes, I see the ironic nature of that statement).

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2012/11/11/tips-for-toads-dont-philander-on-digital-media/comment-page-1/#comment-1149754 Mon, 12 Nov 2012 02:31:22 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=19908#comment-1149754 ZOMG!!11!!!1 You met Thomas Jefferson! That is so cool.

Good point about the willpower thesis. I can believe that in the case of presidents and major agency chiefs like Petraeus, but maybe not so much for your average congressman. After all, they’ve delegated a lot of their work to lobbyists, so their lives are mostly just dialing for dollars.

Edwards is an anomaly. I don’t think he was a career horndog, just one with really, really shitty timing. (At least, I assume that if he were a career horndog that all of the other women would have come crawling out of the woodwork after his spectacular fall.)

You have to feel kind of sorry for him in that respect–some guys do it all of the time and never get caught. Maybe that’s the curse of his good looks: people found it less plausible that he was a faithful husband, whereas if he looked like David Brooks or someone like that, you’d figure he was lucky to have a wife at all, let alone suspect him of horndogging.

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By: nicoleandmaggie http://www.historiann.com/2012/11/11/tips-for-toads-dont-philander-on-digital-media/comment-page-1/#comment-1149708 Mon, 12 Nov 2012 01:56:58 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=19908#comment-1149708 p.s. Gives new meaning to that “Rock me Dave Petraeus” song that The Daily Show used to play whenever he was in the news.

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By: nicoleandmaggie http://www.historiann.com/2012/11/11/tips-for-toads-dont-philander-on-digital-media/comment-page-1/#comment-1149661 Mon, 12 Nov 2012 00:58:06 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=19908#comment-1149661 I did meet one of the DC previous sex scandal people in person (post sex-scandal). He doesn’t seem like much over the tv or in pictures, but in person he looks at you like you are the most important person in the world and all of a sudden you want his babies. I would not be surprised if Petraeus also has charisma that doesn’t come across in print media.

Also, I have a hard time believing that John Edwards wanted for girlfriends in high school and college.

No, I think it’s more likely what the Willpower book talks about– these guys make too many decisions each day, are often sleep-deprived, and are used to being in control. The combination leads to poor judgment and risk taking via loss of willpower.

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