Eliot Spitzer Loves Life!

Ok, I realize that the topic of politicians doing all kinds of nasty things will be in the air for at least a couple of days until Spitzer resigns, but this article from today’s New York Times is just dead wrong and I will not stand idly by when a rather ingenious argument is being presented as a possible explanation of politician’s desire to violate the rules of decent conduct [shaking fists, smoking a bit of pot, paying the prostitute, reload my gun, posting about Jesus on my secret blog]:

N. R. Kleinfield begins his piece with a rather usual statement: “It keeps happening. Recklessly, shamelessly, cavalierly — as if this time they’re the ones who will somehow manage to get away with it all. But they don’t.”  What follows then is a number of quotations with some comments, quotations that are trying to understand why politicians would be involved with illicit sexual activity – the assumption is, right away, that people in power get much more excited about sex, cheat on their wives, hide their sexual preferences and do the nasty in some strange way, the assumption, one must say, that is not based on much factual data, just some of emotional ‘how many times did we hear about it?’ argument.  Kleinfield then cites this guy: “I think biologists could tell you this has something to do with natural selection — the person who acquires power becomes the alpha male,” said Tom Fiedler, who teaches a course in press and politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School.” Ok then, so it must be biology and evolution and natural selection that is responsible, right? Mr. Jerk himself is clearly innocent, it’s not his fault that he is biologically predisposed to inseminate every female in sight! He is all that is man! Notice how it is not a biologist how says it, but a dude who teaches about “press and politics” referring a biologist who would say it, maybe, I’m not sure, I’m not a biologist – talk about “press” here! Who cites a source like that? Tom Fiedler? This Tom Fiedler?

Next quotation is again telling us nothing really evaluative about the actions themselves, but that “there is a broader anxiety about what is private anymore,” said Paul Apostolidis, a political science professor at Whitman College and the co-editor of the book “Public Affairs: Politics in the Age of Sex Scandals.” “It’s not that politicians are behaving more badly. We’re just learning about it more often.”  In other words, these things have been going on for a long time, and if we didn’t pay that much attention to them, no one would be interested in learning these details. Only, one might wonder, we are learning so much about these things because the public is constantly bombarded with politicians’ cries for decency and morality! We’re told that they will behave like super-moral men and women, that they will raise the standards, that they will clean things up – where does the public expectation that the politicians behave come from? I remember that during Clinton-Lewinsky saga most Russians were quite confused about the whole thing and could only understand it a bit when the issue of lying under oath came up, otherwise, since most of them back then did not expect their politicians to be sexually pure, just effective, no one really thought it was a big deal…

Some more quotes: Continue reading

Apology To The Family First: Spitzer Goes Down…

Some news involving a man in power (just recently entered, actually) and a possible prosecution for soliciting a prostitute. It would be truly sad if it wasn’t so pathetically hilarious – short version? A balding far-from-attractive man gets elected as Governor of the great state of NY, enters office in 2007 – first order of business? Continue with the clean-up of Wall Street? Changing NY state politics “on day one”? Nope, a high-class prostitute in a hotel in Washington DC! C’mmon now! You’re a big boy now! Seriously?!


ALBANY – Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who gained national prominence relentlessly pursuing Wall Street wrongdoing, has been caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel last month, according to a law enforcement official and a person briefed on the investigation.

The wiretap captured a man identified as Client 9 on a telephone call confirming plans to have a woman travel from New York to Washington, where he had reserved a hotel room, according to an affidavit filed in federal court in Manhattan. The person briefed on the case and the law enforcement official identified Mr. Spitzer as Client 9.

Mr. Spitzer, a first term Democrat, today made a brief public appearance during which he apologized for his behavior, and described it as a “private matter.” He did not address his political future.

“I have acted in a way that violates my obligation to my family and violates my or any sense of right or wrong,” said Mr. Spitzer, who appeared with his wife Silda at his Manhattan office. “I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public to whom I promised better.” The rest is here.

One question there, Eliot, why are you apologizing to your family first? you are a public figure now and your “private matter” is actually a violation of the law – it is illegal, you know, to solicit a prostitute, it’s not just a matter of personal preference like, oh I don’t know, cheating on your wife… Why is it that those who yell the loudest when it comes to the moral sins of others are always… wait, I’m not sure if I like where that particular line of thought is going, so I’ll just say the usual: Shame! Shame! Shame! (Don’t want to be accused of self-righteous moralism, do I?)