In the Washington Post today, political columnist Ruth Marcus has an unexpected take on the Petraeus sex scandal:

In retrospect, how could Petraeus not have been taken with a female doppelganger, a woman who could keep pace with his six-minute miles and match him pushup for pushup? “Petraeus once joked I was his avatar,” Broadwell told The Charlotte Observer earlier this year.

We don’t know who seduced whom, but history suggests that the way to a man’s heart is through his ego. History further suggests that, well let’s call it ego, tends to trump intelligence when sex is involved. Beware the woman who goes on “The Daily Show” wearing a black silk halter top and flaunting her toned triceps. Men should know better, but, it seems, they rarely do.

Shorter version of Marcus’ analysis: We can hardly blame Petraeus.