Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
Spitzer, hypocrisy, excuses and trust
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Well the Spitzer story seems to have sucked all the air out of the news cycle, so I may as well throw my 2 cents up here.

I, like any libertarian, am not bothered by the "illegality" of his business transaction with a prostitute. Paying for sex isn't, in my view of the world, something which should be a legally actionable offense. Note the word "legally". The morality of such a thing is a different subject. Be that as it may, it is legally actionable and whether I agree or disagree, that's reality.

But it is that reality which brings me to what I do object too concerning Spitzer - and that's his utter hypocrisy and his breaking of the trust between a public official and his constituency.

Let's be clear - morally, I think he's a piece of crap and had I been his wife yesterday, I'd have turned and walked off the podium as he gave his little "hope this saves my political career" apology. The guy made a commitment to his wife of many years and then broke it. But, that said, that's between him and his wife. However it certainly lowers my opinion of the man's ethics and morals.

People ask why something like this between a man and his wife should matter in politics. Because it is an indicator of the politician's ethics and morals - his character - and anyone who doesn't think such things are important when weighing whether to vote for someone for public office, doesn't then care about character in public service. If a candidate will screw over his family, he or she will have no great moral or ethical concern about screwing over the constituency either.

And that brings me to the last part of this rant. I have little patience for those who try to justify his behavior as much ado about nothing:
About 13 minutes into the hour, Contessa Brewer brought on [Alan] Dershowitz for his reaction, explaining at one point that Dershowitz taught Spitzer at Harvard. He sounded quivering and emotional:

I have two reactions. One, I feel terrible for Eliot and his family. But I feel that this is a America-only story that we have to put in perspective. You know, big deal, married man goes to prostitute! In Europe, this wouldn't even make the back pages of the newspaper. It's a uniquely American story. We’re a uniquely, you know, pandering society and hypocritical society, when it comes to sex.
I agree - "big deal, a married man goes to a prostitute." It happens everyday, doesn't it? And when found out, the result is between the husband and wife, right?

Except, as Dershowitz conveniently omits, when the husband is out busting prostitution rings and moralizing about it. Except when he's the great crusader for morals and ethics in government. Except when his actions are the polar opposite of his words and he holds an important and powerful office in government.

Then, as far as I'm concerned, it moves far beyond a simple "family problem" and becomes a problem for the citizens of the state or nation involved.

They have to decide whether or not they want an untrustworthy public servant - his untrustworthiness demonstrated by his actions as opposed to his words - to continue in office. They have to decide if ethically he's still their choice for the job.

Dershowitz wants to deflect this the same way the left did during the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinski lie-fest of years ago. He wants to reduce it to sex and tell everyone how unsophisticated and prudish they are.

It's not about sex, Mr. Dershowitz, it is about trust.

All politics is about trust. Trust is the critical element between a citizenry and its government. When that trust is broken the effectiveness of the politician/government is broken as well. Spitzer has broken that trust in a most arrogant and hypocritical way. It is up to the citizens of NY to decide if that trust is irrevocably broken or whether they think it can be mended. If they decide it is the former, then Eliot Spitzer should resign.
____________

Linked by Obligatory Anecdotes - Thanks!
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Except, as Dershowitz conveniently omits, when the husband is out busting prostitution rings and moralizing about it. Except when he’s the great crusader for morals and ethics in government. Except when his actions are the polar opposite of his words and he holds an important and powerful office in government
Seriously. Supposing he wasn’t caught, but one day he got a pic in the mail of him and his escort in a compromising position?

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
By the way-

Did any public money in any way finance this? Did NY State Troopers provide security services for him while he had his trysts?

If so, he’s got to go.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I keep wondering if I will lose my libertarian "membership card" if I ever vote to convict a person for a prostitution crime (like I evidently would in a drug importation case).
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
don’t see the difficulty here - same rules apply, he broke extent laws that he himself crusaded to uphold.

Oh, right, we’re supposed to determine which laws we like, and which ones we don’t, and ignore the ones we don’t like while yelling about our liberty.

Sorry, I forgot, here’s my card.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
JWG: that entirely depends on who issued it in the first place.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
However it certainly lowers my opinion of the man’s ethics and morals.
Really? I’m surprised. Personally I never thought he had any.
It’s not about sex, Mr. Dershowitz, it is about trust.

All politics is about trust. Trust is the critical element between a citizenry and its government. When that trust is broken the effectiveness of the politician/government is broken as well. Spitzer has broken that trust in a most arrogant and hypocritical way.
Trust is certainly part of it, but the glaring issue here is that Spitzer was the great moralizer. He aggressively and remorselessly attacked people and companies whom class warriors deemed immoral. As Roger Donway commented in 2006:
His purpose in these campaigns has not been the narrow one of punishing law-breakers. Rather, he has sought a sweeping restructuring of the business landscape in order to make it accord with his moral vision, as though he were a religious dictator suddenly transplanted from the Middle East to Manhattan. ... Doing good, for Eliot Spitzer, means compelling people, under the threat of prison, to accept, endorse, and follow his own moral precepts.
Spitzer wasn’t just a prosecutor, but a secular Torquemada. He was any freedom lover’s worst nightmare: a moralizer with a gun, and the power of the State behind him when he used it. His downfall here is not much different than what would have happened if the Grand Inquisitor had been caught worshiping Baal.

And just so we’re clear, Spitzer was funding a an illegal, international enterprise, and using the federal bank wiring system to hide is dealings. If this had been about drugs, or dog fighting, or illegal tax shelters, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Even though I’ll bet that most libertarians don’t think any of these things should be illegal, if one of us "little people" should get caught doing something similar we wouldn’t be getting a whole lot of sympathy from anyone. Spitzer deserves to be treated just like any of us would, with an extra dose of scolding for being in a position of power, and great big heaping pile of derision for lording his holier-than-thou over the rest of us.

May he rot in He11.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
OK, opening salvo, Bruce;
the Spitzer story seems to have sucked all the air out of the news cycle,
OK, it certainly has done that. It strikes me to ask who would benefit from that?

I mean, we’re seeing, here in NY a move to impeech him if he’s not gone in 48 hours. there’s HUGE pressure from the DNC to have hom gone ASAP so as to have him out of the headlines before too much more time goes by, so as to minimize the damage to Demorat candidates. But that’s not going to buy them much, I think.

That said...

Based on what I know now, I suspect there’ll be criminal charges in the offing. Having lived here in the Vampire state all my life, I’ll tell you that criminal proceedings on this are going to be ramping up in November, or perhaps October at the eariest. Which will move Spitzer’s name back into the limelight once again, just as people are trying to decide whom to trust with their vote.... and you’re right, Bruce, this is about trust. But for the Kossacks and Greenwald, Willis, and the like, most New Yorkers and the nation, for that matter, are going to think twice before pulling the Democrat lever, as a result of that timely reminder.

And let’s remember, too, this is likley not about sex, per se’. Apparently the feds were looking at many, many investments of less than $10,000 ea, put into dummy corporations. This is something known as ’structuring’ and something that Spitzer himself prosecuted others for. Now, this can go one of two ways; All those investments indicate a serious sexual addiction, and one serious enough to compromise him in more ways than sexually. (Yes, trust again...) If it isn’t just payments for sex, we have some seriously illegal shenanigans with the money, possibly linking him to something far larger than a prostitution ring.

Either way...

And what’s this I hear about rumors of Hillary Clinton’s people being involved in this bust? I have no confirmation of this, but I keep hearing it. Given the well known vindictive nature of the woman it wouldn’t shock me were it true, but it strikes me that the activity would have to have been known by her and her people so as to start such an investigation.... which raises more questions than it answers, in my view.





 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Point of order: You aren’t "paying for sex". You’re paying for her to go away afterwards.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
(Chuckle)
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
most New Yorkers and the nation, for that matter, are going to think twice before pulling the Democrat lever, as a result of that timely reminder
I don’t know about the rest of the nation, but rest assured that barely any New Yorkers will think twice before pulling the Dem lever over this.....we recently elected a Dem. comptroller who was under investigation for misuse of funds during the campaign!

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
So those fees are right up there with "Why does it cost so much to get divorced"... Fascinating. :)

Dale, how much for your wife to never find out you said that? :)
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Shark;

True. Remember, I live between Rochester and Buffalo.
Then again, that wasn’t nearly as high profile a case.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
I comment on this on my blog, but I did so prior to learning about Dershowitz’s comments. Certainly, I agree with him that this shouldn’t politically be a big deal, and that it shouldn’t be illegal. But the fact is that it is illegal, that Spitzer specifically went after prostitution rings, and that for that very reason he should go down. Good riddance to him. I also think his defense of Spitzer that the country is full of hypocrites is ridiculous — just because "everyone is doing it" doesn’t make it right!
 
Written By: Troy Camplin
URL: http://zatavu.blogspot.com
I comment on this on my blog, but I did so prior to learning about Dershowitz’s comments. Certainly, I agree with him that this shouldn’t politically be a big deal, and that it shouldn’t be illegal. But the fact is that it is illegal, that Spitzer specifically went after prostitution rings, and that for that very reason he should go down. Good riddance to him. I also think his defense of Spitzer that the country is full of hypocrites is ridiculous — just because "everyone is doing it" doesn’t make it right!
 
Written By: Troy Camplin
URL: http://zatavu.blogspot.com

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider