"I can't abide the sort of Beltway scold who looks down his nose at political scandals as distractions from 'the business of governing,'" writes Gene Healy. "Ringside seats at the latest --'gate are among the few redeeming features of life in this miserable company town."

At a minimum, Healy argues, scandals serve as a useful reminder that we're usually led by people of questionable competence, miserable judgment, and a flexible relationship with the truth. At their best, they can even provoke much-needed reforms.