10 March 2008


You'll find no sympathy for the disgraced governor here. He proved himself a hypocrite, a man who says one thing and does another. We can talk another time about whether prostitution should be illegal; for now it only matters that Spitzer broke the law. There's no room for a political defense of the man on the ground that he was the victim of a partisan entrapment scheme. The only thing I will regret about this scandal is the likelihood that conservatives will somehow see it as a vindication of all the white-collar criminals Spitzer rightly prosecuted as Attorney General, as if he had no right to prosecute anyone because of his own crimes. I'm not here to say that Spitzer should resign, but I see no reason why he shouldn't.

Of course, we don't know how long this has been going on, but I expect we'll learn soon enough. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that Spitzer succumbed to the privileges of power, the perks that come with giant campaign war-chests that candidates can spend at whim. Read enough and you'll see that elected officials enjoy an unprecedented degree of luxury that the Founders would have recognized immediately as a danger to the republic. Who's to say that many more people haven't indulged in the same way that Spitzer has? The real challenge will be getting ordinary Americans to recognize that, even among those politicos who haven't necessarily broken a law, things have gone too far. Because Spitzer has apparently committed a crime, this won't be the time to get people to see the other abuses. They'll have to do that work themselves, since most of the media are unlikely to help them.

1 comment:

hobbyfan said...

I didn't think it'd be possible for anyone to have a lower approval rating than the President, but I'd say at this point Spitzer does. Have you ever known any governor, anywhere, to have been impeached at any time in history? Of course, it'd be a first here in NY, but I'd be surprised if it was a first, period.