Friday, March 14, 2008

Eliot Spitzer - paragon of misplaced virtue

The fall from grace of Eliot Spitzer, soon-to-be-former governor of New York and former Mr. Clean who crusaded for the better part of the decade to wipe corruption from every nook and cranny of Wall Street, is as spectacular as we're gonna get in this age of new media. A few things come to mind as I watch this modern-day tragic circus play out:
  • Stupid, stupid, stupid. Your wife's a Harvard-educated lawyer. You have a textbook family, with three teenaged daughters. Why would you risk a plethora of treasures that most people spend their lives dreaming of? On second thought, you're a Harvard-educated lawyer, too. What the hell did you learn while you studied there?
  • Arrogant, arrogant, arrogant. You prosecuted folks for corruption, wire fraud and other financial misdeeds for much of your career. Did you think that you were somehow immune to the same kind of pursuit?
I could go on for ages, but I'll keep this short because I'm miserably sick and I don't have the patience to write volumes about idiots. Truth is, folks like Spitzer are easy pickins after they've been exposed for the sad human beings that they are. I guess people in powerful positions really are just as warped and vulnerable as the rest of us.

What stands out for me is his reputation as a crusader against corruption. He relentlessly went after those who strayed from the path of righteousness, building a better-than-perfect persona for himself in the process. I guess it's only natural that the community that fell under his prosecutor's gun now feels a certain smug sense of satisfaction now that this holier-than-thou figure has been exposed as something less than divinely holy. Glass houses. Stones. It's all making sense to me now.

Your turn: Your first thought when you heard about the Spitzer case was...?


A Red Mind in a Blue State said...

So I hear that when told that Eliot Spitzer had paid thousands of dollars for sex with a 22 year old prostitute Bill Clinton said: "What?!? Doesn't New York State have an intern program?"

kenju said...

My thought was how his hypocricy knew no bounds! I was taught to mistrust people who are overly zealous about anything, especially religion or crime or politics. He is just another example of it, and he disgusts me.

Michael K. Althouse said...

I wrote about Spitzer recently, too. Needless to say, I agree completely.

Michele sent me,


Anonymous said...

"Your first thought when you heard about the Spitzer case was..." that it's just one more reminder that things are best taken in moderation. People who are too gung-ho about anything typically turn out to be a huge disappointment. People who realize their own limitations and are therefore more tolerant of other people most often don't disappoint. Or at least, that's been my observation.

Anna said...

I totally agree also Carmi.

My thoughts were about how sin is rampant at every corner in this world. No one is safe. I feel so sorry for his daughters. My heart just breaks for them. I have reserved any thoughts on his wife only because she had championed him to not resign.

I dont understand that.

lissa said...

Sadly, my first thought was, "here we go again."

Subsequent thoughts have me wondering why Silda Spitzer stood by - TWICE - for the public to view her humiliation. Once, just once, I'd like to see the wronged woman let her husband walk out and face the throngs alone.

Jack Cafferty, of CNN's Situation Room, said it best when he said, "If that had been my wife, she'd have been standing over my bleeding body asking, 'how do you reload this thing?'"

The pundits are having a blast...

tommie said...

this is totally said in jest: (why do I feel a need to preface a JOKE)..

But I think his wife thought: "Dude, quit poking me with that thing. If you stray, at least do it with a foofoo pro so you don't bring anything home. I am tired! I need my sleep!"

Prego said...

Ah, Carmi Levy... my dutiful alter-ego. You are the Wally Cleaver to my Eddie Haskell.

Here's my two-bits, or tooney or insignificant prattle.

Two things separate us from the animals: a pair of comfortable shoes and the capacity for rational thought. In Mr. Spitzer's case, add a fat wallet.

From my libidinal perspective, propogation of the species is quite the motivator. Most of us have that little voice in the back of our heads that say, "Keep it in your pants, Caligula." Once in a while you want to tell that little voice to... ahem... quiet down for about 2 minutes, or in Spitzer's case, about an hour.

Either way, looking a picture of the young hooker, my first thought is, "Um... okay. Valid moral dilemma..." Though the only thing I'd offer the lass is a Glenfiddich on the rocks and some witty repartee.

Spitzer's major faux pas, other than treating women like an order of General Tso's chicken, is talking out of both sides of his mouth. He's joined the legions of politicians who have touted 'family values' while straying far from them, as well as religous figures who preacheth from the pulpit, while paying out lawsuits for their indiscretions.

Yes, the mighty keep falling. It's partially our fault for continuing to build pedestals.

miss you bro. i promise i'll visit more often.

Prego said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Well, someone is gonna earn millions!
Maybe a movie or two too!

Nothing shocks me anymore.

Got here from Michele as you know..

rashbre said...

We get less coverage of this here in UK because we seem to manage to create our own share of scandals.

But the Spitzer one Is made more poignant because this alleged Emperors Club member appears to have built his reputation on bringing ethics to New York and even shutting a couple of other prostitution rings.

I see that Ashley Dupre (aka Kirsten) allegedly travelled from New York for the assignation, travel no doubt on top of the fees and I wonder if the American taxpayer is ultimately paying?

Also slightly odd for Spitzer to use a fake name but his own 5th Ave address at the Mayflower hotel, perhaps that was needed for expense claims too?

No wonder he offered an apology for this ‘private matter’.

It's also another blow against Hilary (fnar fnar), because Spitzer was a superdelegate and can’t now vote for her. That’s two men with maladjusted trousers giving Hilary problems.

But if Spitzer really is the Fox he appears to be, then perhaps his visitor from New York was no idle choice, with her $5k per hour consulting rate? And I wonder who else from high places is a member of Emperors and maybe gets invoiced through QAT Consulting?

We should be told.


Sara said...

They are never going to learn! Did he really think no one was going to find out!

And, she is raking in the bucks - although I hope she was better at her "job" than she is in the looks department...because she's no "hottie".

I just don't under the wife...I'm afraid if it would have been my husband - I'd be the one standing over his blood body asking "how do you reload this thing".

And, how do you spend that much money???? It is just disheartening to see the absolute misuse of power and money!

kenju said...

Carmi, come and see what I posted about this today.

Bobkat said...

Oh yes. The irony of setting yourself up as a paragon of virtue and crisader for good but behind closed doors... I agree with you totally, stupidity and arrogance were his ultimate downfall.

Michele sent me over again but hey, iy's never a chore :)

Anonymous said...

My first thought was... "Why doesn't this surprise me or shock me?"

My second had to do with how sad it is that I am not shocked, surprised or outraged.

scrappintwinmom said...

My first thought was: "what the hell was he THINKING??"
As someone who knows the law, understand wiretaps, etc...he should have KNOWN they'd catch up to him.

Which makes me think that there's some psycho-centric thing going know, "I'm so consumed with guilt that I WANT to be caught and villified" ...?

Not to mention that his wife (the former 'dragon lady' laywer who I believe is going to wait for all this to die down and then take him for all he's worth. I would.

Talking with some other wives, we all noticed (a) the dark rings under her eyes at the press conference and (b) her obvious body language - she looked like he wanted to kill him.

Thanks for visiting me!