Our New Jesus

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Jim Fallows writes about what's being done to David Petraeus:

One memoir of life at the New Yorker under its founding editor, Harold Ross -- maybe it was James Thurber's The Years with Ross, maybe Brendan Gill's Here at the New Yorker -- described the concept of the "New Jesus." Everyone who has ever worked in an office will recognize the idea. The New Jesus is the guy the boss has just brought in to solve the problems that the slackers and idiots already on the staff cannot handle. Of course sooner or later the New Jesus himself turns into a slacker or idiot, and the search for the next Jesus begins.

As has been widely noted, Gen. David Petraeus is getting the full New Jesus treatment. It's underway to an extent I can barely remember happening before. OK, maybe one exception: When Coach Joe Gibbs was brought back to "save" the Washington Redskins three years ago, under their lamentable owner, Dan Snyder. The subsequent travails of Coach Gibbs illustrate the standard New Jesus cycle.

Petraeus is a serious man, but the expectations being heaped on him are simply laughable, and it's worth noting the proportions this phenomenon has taken on.

More here.

(Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty.)