Monday, March 10, 2008

Sauce for the Gander

Oh, my goodness.

Eliot Spitzer, governor of New York, has apparently been caught arranging to patronize a prostitute. He hasn't exactly confessed, but he gave a news conference at which he said, "I have acted in a way that violates my obligation to my family and violates my or any sense of right or wrong." That's roughly the equivalent of admitting it.

Now, I have a confession of my own to make. I have previously, publicly, on this very blog, had some fun at the expense of Republicans caught in the same postion (so much so, I am slightly embarrassed to admit, that it takes quite a few links to cover it all). I said at the time that I'm not that into schadenfreude, and I'm not, but there's no question that I engaged in it. So what do I do now?

Bloggers have, or should have, a loyalty to the truth that goes beyond party. If it was appropriate to poke fun at the Republicans who couldn't keep their pants zipped, the same has to apply to the Democrats.

Of course, as I observed, it was particularly, juicily ironic when the Republicans got caught, because most of them were piously moralistic types who roundly condemned the very behavior that tripped them up. But so was Spitzer! As Attorney General, he prosecuted prostitution rings!

So I'm sorry, but even though I can't quite bring myself to poke fun at Governor Spitzer, I'm going to have to be understanding while others do so. It's just too tough to resist, and I'm in no position to criticize.

But really, I mean, . . . Eliot Spitzer! Mr. Integrity! How could he do this!

What is up with these politicians? Don't they know that they live under a microscope? How can they imagine that they'll get away with crap like this?

And sadly, it's not as though mere prostitution is the only thing Spitzer may be on the hook for. First of all, he apparently arranged for a prostitute to cross state lines to meet him, which makes it a federal crime under the ancient Mann Act. Moreover, the prices charged by the prostitution ring he apparently patronized are said to range from $1000 up to $5500 per hour. Where does a public servant get that kind of money? I suppose it's possible that he only did this the one time, but that doesn't seem likely. I foresee an investigation into where the money came from. (And by the way, what could you possibly get that would be worth that price? Maybe I lack sufficient imagination, but I'm baffled.) And of course, most serious of all would be if Spitzer somehow exercised his powers as attorney general to keep this ring from being prosecuted (again assuming he was patronizing it back then).

Wow, it doesn't look good. Of course, as was true when the Republicans got caught, some will ask why what they're doing is a crime at all. But the fact is, it is. And it's crime Spitzer himself denounced. He shouldn't have done it. And here come the jokes.

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