13 March 2008

spit him out

The latest casualty in the war of sexual politics has resigned, effective next Monday. I'm speaking of course, of our former New York Governor, Eliot Spitzer (that's his wife, Silda, in the obligatory appearance beside him). It seems that whenever a politician gets caught thinking with the wrong part of his body, friends disappear and enemies sharpen their fangs. Understand, I'm not defending what he did. In fact, he probably committed a worse crime than doing business with prostitutes--and that would be stupidity. Many speak of his hypocrisy, given that he vigorously prosecuted such crimes while state Attorney General. But then, who among us has never acted in a hypocritical or stupid way?

If his behavior were looked at in a vacuum, I would certainly agree with forcing him out of office. (I guess I still do, anyway.) The people who would be our leaders need to have high standards of character. (Though not impossibly high!) It seems, however, that sexual offenses are usually the ones that get the attention of those calling for high standards of character. Don't dishonesty, waging war on nations of no threat to us, ignoring the concerns of allies and of Congress, and a slew of other end runs around the constitution speak to standards of character? If only that were so--then a certain president and vice president would have taken the perp walk that our former governor has taken.

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