13 November 2007
For Once, the People Rule
Governor Spitzer has capitulated to popular opinion. He's going to give up on his plan to issue drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants, according to the New York Times and other sources. The governor remains unrepentant, insisting that his was a "principled" position, but the latest poll numbers that put his approval rating at a bushy 41%, not to mention likely strong pressure from Senator Clinton and the state's Congressional delegation, have finally driven him to compromise his precious principles. The timing of the announcement is, frankly contemptible, because here was a self-styled leader who proclaimed his independence from polls, and now the news of his surrender will follow the news of a poll. It's a no-win situation, which is only fair, since Spitzer didn't deserve to win. He can only hope that people will forget over the next three years, and to be fair, there's plenty he can do constructively to help them forget. Now that Democracy has had a rare triumph, and of a kind, please note, that didn't depend on voting, we ought to judge Spitzer by his future acts as well as his thwarted bad intentions.