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A Voice in the Wilderness

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. -- William O. Douglas

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Of Spitzer and Prostitutes and the Right-Wing Conspiracy

"Following the path of least resistance is what makes rivers and men crooked."

I have been reading various posts about NY Governor Eliot Switzer (D) and his recent exposure regarding soliciting prostitution. I have also noted how some people are maintaining that Spitzer's bust is somehow tied to Republicans and their infinite effort to smear Liberals. I have to say such arguments really miss the mark.

To be certain the Republicans do have something to gain from this recent revelation but to lay the blame on them is as spurious and smacks of partisan bullshit which I detest when it comes at us by of blowhard hypocrites like the sexual-harasser Bill O’Reilly and the drug-abusing Rush Limbaugh.

I am a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat - through and through - so Spitzer's behavior is as unacceptable as any of the varieties of philandering, sexual deviants and liars who happen to be Republican. Regardless of party affiliation, such activities constitute hypocritical violations of the public trust. No amount of parsing will change that.

Now, before anyone goes accusing me of being a prude, let me point out a simple philosophy that I subscribe to can be summed up a pretty simply; Be who you say you are and then you don't have to worry about getting caught committing some questionable transgression because it taints all the good you may have accomplished in the past.

Here are a few point for to ponder.

Fact: Spitzer is a government official.

Fact: Spitzer prosecuted prostitutes.

Fact: Regardless of anyone's stance on prostitution, it is illegal.

Fact: the Mann Act does deal with interstate commerce violations.

Fact: Spitzer violated the public trust when he broke the law.

Spitzer's being a Democrat should in no way exempt him from the legal consequences or public scrutiny he has drawn to himself with his ill-thought out decision. Partisan arguments that Spitzer's actions are somehow acceptable because he happens to be Democrat are specious because the law is the law.

This is why I so detest the situational ethics arguments such as the one implicit in such posts because they rely on complicated rationalizations aimed at somehow diminishing the simple reality that what is unacceptable is unacceptable.

If Spitzer had a problem with the laws on prostitution, he should never have gone after the prostitutes and better yet, he should have worked to change the laws - which we all know would have amounted to political suicide.

Well, his career in public service is officially on its downward run thanks to his unfortunate disregard or hubris - whatever you call it. Such recklessness has damaged not only the jackass who seemed to think he could get away with it, but his party as well.

If the 'right-wing conspiracy argument' is to be believed then, it is incumbent upon all people who choose the public life - especially those like Spitzer who score way above the norm in intelligence - to be cognizant of the high stakes game and the attendant reality that the Law is the Law. Spitzer chose his career path and he knew the consequences so he has to pay the price. His actions have definite consequences just like the criminals he gained successful prosecutions against when they committed the same crimes he now appears to have been surreptitiously engaging in as well. He deserved to be exposed just like any and everyone else who places themselves above the law.

If it is good on Sunday - it better be good on Friday and nothing that is undertaken in secrecy can be all that good.

Moreover, such illicit behaviors, which tend to raise eyebrows regarding politicians personal character - detract from more menacing issues because they titillate society's collective libido and detract from issues which rightfully deserve our undivided attention. Worse yet, they keep the power-hungry sycophants who are destroying our country in power.


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