Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Sad Case Of Gov. Eliot Spitzer

"Women need a reason to have sex, men just need a place."

-Billy Crystal

Here we go again... another politician has been caught with his pants down. For the most part, when these stories make the news, I tend to giggle a bit and then invest no more time in it. I don't happen to think it's any of my business, because overall it doesn't really affect me. It doesn't raise gas prices, it doesn't make us more vulnerable to terrorism, it doesn't screw with the economy, pardon the pun, and it doesn't cause the death of innocent people. Some would call a politician visiting a prostitute a victimless crime. I am not sure I would go that far. There are some definite victims in this situation. I am sure if you ask the wife and children of, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, how they are feeling today, you would probably get some very well spoken, and politically careful responses about the pain they are feeling, but lets face it, betrayal is going to hurt... deep.

Maybe one of the reasons I tend to take a, "who cares?" attitude is because when I vote for a politician, I don't vote for a moral leader. My father taught us, at a young age, to vote for the the politician who came closest to they direction I felt things should be taken for social and economic reasons. Of course how the man, or woman conducts themselves in public was up for consideration, but their record in their careers mattered more, because that is what directly affected the present and the future.

It never made sense to me that so much was spent on the situation with Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. So much time, money, and emotional investment, for what amounted to an affair. She wasn't a prostitute, she was a consenting adult, and so was he. In my opinion he didn't betray me, he didn't betray the office of the presidency, he betrayed those who had an emotional investment in his personal behavior. I am so sick of seeing good politicians ruined over societies views of what is sexually acceptable. On the other hand, I have to wonder sometimes if these individuals actually want to be caught in the act.

I find it striking that Gov. Spitzer worked so diligently on rounding up prostitution rings. He was tough on crime, and well respected for his efforts. He had the nickname "Eliot Ness," because he was so tough. So, why in the world did he think he could engage in this behavior and not get caught? Did he believe he was above the law, like so many politicians do? Did he have a momentary laps of judgement? Was he lonely? Does it matter what his reasoning was? There can be a million reasons why any of us do anything we do... good or bad. I don't know that we always do the right thing when we throw people away because of situations like this one, but for some reason, this case bothers me more then others have.

It seems to me that the obvious is all too true here. He should have known better. He of all people should have known that in this day and age, the chances of being caught were off the charts, and yet he still chose to put in his order for a call girl, travel from New York to Washington, booked a room in the Mayflower Hotel, which I find amusingly ironic, and then continue on with the deed. It's so sad to see what was, by all accounts a brilliant career, wasted in the blink of an eye. This is one of the few times where I find myself agreeing with those who say that he should step down.

His focus as a politician is shot. The confidence that the people of New York have put in him has been betrayed, and to recover from that will be too difficult, and it would be another unnecessary distraction from the things we should be caring about. If he does step down, it might very well mean Hillary Clinton would be losing the Super Delegate vote that Spitzer would have cast. He had given her his endorsement, and that makes me feel sad for her as well. It would mean she was hurt once again by a man's betrayal. It's a shame that if he steps down he loses the right to cast that vote, but that's the penalty for allowing your own selfishness to rule you... even for one afternoon. So sad.


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