Column: Scandal puts soap opera twists into messy Washington politics


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What a mess! But then it’s probably just business as usual in this burg where any hopes of a quiet few weeks following an election more tumultuous, disruptive and negative than most have suddenly faded into scandal, potential fiscal chaos and an intelligence debacle.

Well, you wanted to continue in the job badly enough to spend most of the last year doing very little but campaigning for it, Mr. President. Have you never heard of being careful for what you wish? So now with your last election beneath your belt, you can forget about campaigning and look forward to that day four years from now when you can go back to Chicago and dabble in local community affairs with Mayor Potty Mouth, Rahm Emanuel, who helped get you into this mess. But before you can even start that second term you have a long list of priorities.

You have to try to save the nation by squeezing more money ($1.3 trillion, you’ve said) out of the 3 percent that already pay 98 percent of the taxes and cutting expenditures enough to keep all of us from tumbling over a fiscal precipice. If that isn’t enough, you must now find a CIA director who isn’t vulnerable to a pretty face and has enough sense to avoid emails. While doing that, you might need to discover a replacement for another military superstar who apparently also likes titillating electronic conversation with a woman other than his wife between what we are told is midnight and 2 a.m.

Try to sort this out: David Petraeus, Paula Broadwell, Tampa socialite Jill Kelley and U.S. Marine Gen. John Allen and Jill Kelley and ... who knows ... Mondo Bizarro. It’s Washington’s version of “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.” But unless there really was a breach of national security in all this, these dalliances in high places, like all those before them, are just revelations that tweak our prurient interests but don’t amount to much when stacked up against serious matters.

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