Sunday, November 16, 2008

I repeatedly blog about Eliot Spitzer without having much of an opinion about him one way or the other.

So, my previous post was just blogged by my mom. Typical thing that happens with blogging: I'm suddenly exposed to potentially hundreds of people as someone who's taking a strong stand about the need to get Eliot Spitzer back into power -- which is weird, since I essentially have no actual opinion about him.

On top of that, this wasn't the first time I've blogged about Spitzer. My mom posted this post in the aftermath of the Spitzer scandal based on my point (which she credited me for) about how Spitzer's record of prosecuting prostitution cases might actually explain his behavior. I also suggested the title of that post:

From penetrating the world of prostitution to penetrating the prostitute.
It makes sense -- read the post!

Speaking of Spitzer and prostitution, my mom added this commentary to my post about getting Spitzer into the Senate to replace Hillary Clinton if she becomes Secretary of State:
I know. I know. It's not just adultery. It's prostitutes. And hypocrisy. But they're all hypocrites, and there will always be prostitutes...
Of course, it's true there was prostitution and hypocrisy involved. But unless you think all politicians who have affairs should be banished from public life, then I don't see the relevance.

It's easy to say, "Oh, it wasn't the adultery itself -- it was all the other stuff." But isn't just about any adultery going to look extra lurid if you look at the specifics of what happened? Think about the most notable political adulterers in the U.S. who've been discovered in the past 10 or 15 years: Clinton, Edwards, Gingrich, Giuliani, McCain. None of them just had a generic one-night stand and then went back to their normal lives. No, in each case, there was layer upon layer of sleaze. Lying, hypocrisy, sex with subordinates, cheating on a terminally ill or seriously injured spouse, questions about whether taxpayers foot the bill for any of it, and countless other disgusting details I'm happy to have forgotten (and a few I wish I could forget).

In fact, out of all the ones I've named, couldn't you argue that Spitzer's adultery was the most innocuous? At least he kept it "professional" and didn't drag another person's whole emotional life into it.

To be clear, I'm not trying to defend any of that behavior. It was all profoundly immoral because of the consequences for the families involved. But should it have consequences for me or you as American citizens? I don't think so. Tragically, adultery is so common that barring adulterers from public service is just not a good plan.


Anonymous said...

I wonder why you are so tolerant, open, and accepting of adulterers ?