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» Politicians Make Bad Bedfellow Choices from Povertybarn
Obviously, the Internet is full of people talking about NY Governor Eliot Spitzer and his inability to keep his pants zipped. I read a great post over at If I Ran the Zoo along with one by Lance Mannion, too. [Read More]

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velvet goldmine

This is Elliot Ness we're talking about, so mark my words: He's in the middle of the biggest, most public sting operation in history. Only he's the cheese, not the rat.

Ken Muldrew

"his answer to himself was along the lines of, I won't get caught."
Reckless.

"he was one of the very few people in the country willing to take on the corruption of Wall Street."
Reckless.

And arrogant and stupid.

Good luck finding someone who is reckless enough to do the latter without also taking enormously foolish risks with his or her personal life. They don't even make movies like that anymore. Evil may be banal, but the kind of heroism that garners public adulation never is.

actor212

Ask yourself this, Lance:

Since when has $5G ever been considered "large sums of money"?

That would mean, the next time you buy a car and put a down payment down, the Feds ought to be allowed to look at it first.

catherine

Did you notice that in his statement yesterday, he never said IF I am guilty, IF I did it? There is no denial of wrong doing. A lot of the problem is that he moved a hooker across state lines and money, too. This is a felony.

While he did some good, he certainly did some bad. He should be in trouble for his crime.

Karen

PREACH IT, BROTHER.

I won't countenance any defense of him either.

David

I've read Greenwald in the past and pretty much always thought he was spot on, but that piece is just plain embarassing, as are the mental contortions some folks on the left are going through to defend Spitzer. But then again, when it comes to human nature it's pretty much a given that when your guy does something wrong, it's wrong, but when my guy doesn't something wrong, it's not really that bad, or there were mitigating circumstances, or he was the victim of a conspiracy, or it's not the same thing.

actor212

A lot of the problem is that he moved a hooker across state lines and money, too. This is a felony.

A felony that's never been prosecuted against a john. Ever. It's always been prosecuted against the pimp.

actor212

David,

I can't speak for the left, but when I've taken a Vitter or a Craig or a Foley to task, it's never been about the sex...well, maybe in Foley's case, since it was underage.

No, it's been about the hypocrisy. Now, yes, Spitzer has prosecuted escort services, to be sure. I won't minimize that.

But look, Spitzer has never strode out on a stage and denounced gay marriage. He's never picked up a megaphone and screamed at pro-choice people. He's never judged a politician for an affair (he kept his mouth shut during both the Clinton and Giuliani debacles) and you get the feeling that despite his no-nonsense public attitude about corruption, in private he could be pretty forgiving of people for their flaws (if it wasn't criminal).

Yea, this was a Federal felony, to be sure. One that's never been prosecuted from the perspective of a john.

Was it wrong? Yes. Was it as bad as Larry Craig or David Vitter or Mark Foley? No.

Spitzer's situation was not markedly different from Clinton's with two glaring exceptions: Clinton's wasn't illegal, and Spitzer took pains not to involve someone else in his affairs beyond the hurt he was causing to his own family.

That alone should be cause enough to leave him the hell alone with a reprimand.

What's unusual about this case is that the escort service was never the center of attention.

tom

Some perspective, tackily self-referring, on large sums of money, and maybe why some are harder to find than others.

David

actor212:

Whether Spitzer was as bad as Craig, Vitter, or Foley isn't the issue. The fact that other politicians - particularly, politicians on the right - duck responsibility and do bad things doesn't make it ok for all politicians to duck responsibility and do bad things. The fact that what they did may have been worse doesn't make what Spitzer did ok. The fact that what Spitzer did has never been prosecuted doesn't make it ok. And no, it's not about the sex - it's about the hypocrisy, and it's about breaking the law. It's also about the fact that Spitzer compromised his office by putting himself in a position where he could have been blackmailed (particularly since prostitution rings are often connected to organized crime).

Also, other than the fact that I don't have a problem with prostitution, but I do have a problem with gay-bashing, I don't see much of a difference between Craig and Spitzer when it comes to hypocrisy: Craig bashed gays, then got arrested trying to arrange a gay tryst. Spitzer shut down high-end prostitution rings, then got caught using the services of a high-end prostitution ring. It seems to me that you're giving Spitzer a pass based on the fact that he isn't a mean-spirited, right-wing homophobe. AFAIC, that isn't relevant. I try to hold everyone to the same standards. To do otherwise would make me a hypocrite, and undercut my credibility - which is exactly what I see happening when I see left-wing bloggers and commenters making excuses for Spitzer.

Personally, I think prostitution should be legal. However, I think all of those people you mentioned - except Clinton - should've resigned. I think the glaring exception you mentioned in Clinton's case - specifically, the first one - is indeed glaring enough that I have a different opinion of Clinton.

actor212

David,

A bad law shouldn't be obeyed.

Ask Gandhi.

David

actor212

Ghandi: Fought against unjust British colonial rule in India. Spitzer: paid for a high-class hooker. How could I miss the obvious parallel?

At least Spitzer himself gets it. "Over the course of my public life I have insisted -- I believe correctly -- that people, regardless of their position or power, take responsibility for their conduct. I can and will ask no less of myself."

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