Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New governance in New York?

Philandering john Eliot Spitzer, aka the Governor of the State of New York, is "weighing his options" regarding stepping down. Republicans in the state are ready, willing and potentially able to seek impeachment.

Of course, as with any scandal (read: Clinton, Lewinsky, and NOW) there are always the sycophantic fools who believe that ethically and morally reprehensible politicians should remain in power because they are intelligent and liberal:

"This is one of the most intelligent, brightest elected officials in the region. You don't change governors of New York lightly, and I think it would be a mistake to act precipitously," political consultant Joseph Mercurio told CBS 2 HD.

That's a spectacularly moronic analysis, but let's take it for what it's worth:

Ok. Don't act precipitously. Let's wait an hour or two for the news to sink in that the Governor of New York set up an appointment in WASHINGTON, DC to meet a high-class hooker, whose services he paid for with . . . money. Yes, money -- in other words, the manifestation of the compensation he obtained from the People of the State of New York for the work he has performed for the past couple of decades (from an ADA in Manhattan to Attorney General of the State to Governor).

Get it? He used public money to get his jollies with a high-dollar whore.

What part of this is not reprehensible? None.

What part of this should not be impeachable? None.

And what part of this does not require his exit from the state governmental position constitutionally mandated to ensure the laws of the State of New York are faithfully executed?


The WSJ has toned down its internal inclination for jubilation at Spitzer's idiocy to make some more salient points about arrogant power-hungry politicians in general:

The stupendously deluded belief that the sitting Governor of New York could purchase the services of prostitutes was merely the last act of a man unable to admit either the existence of, or need for, limits. At the least, he put himself at risk of blackmail, and in turn the possible distortion of his public duties. Mr. Spitzer's recklessness with the state's highest elected office, though, is of a piece with his consistent excesses as Attorney General from 1999 to 2006.

He routinely used the extraordinary threat of indicting entire firms, a financial death sentence, to force the dismissal of executives, such as AIG's Maurice "Hank" Greenberg. He routinely leaked to the press emails obtained with subpoena power to build public animosity against companies and executives. In the case of Mr. Greenberg, he went on national television to accuse the AIG founder of "illegal" behavior. Within the confines of the law itself, though, he never indicted Mr. Greenberg. Nor did he apologize.


In perhaps the incident most suggestive of Mr. Spitzer's lack of self-restraint, the then-Attorney General personally threatened John Whitehead after the former Goldman Sachs chief published an article on this page defending Mr. Greenberg. "I will be coming after you," Mr. Spitzer said, according to Mr. Whitehead's account. "You will pay the price. This is only the beginning, and you will pay dearly for what you have done."

Jack Welch, the former head of GE, said he was told to tell Ken Langone -- embroiled in Mr. Spitzer's investigation of former NYSE chairman Dick Grasso -- that the AG would "put a spike through Langone's heart." New York Congresswoman Sue Kelly, who clashed with Mr. Spitzer in 2003, had her office put out a statement that "the attorney general acted like a thug."

These are not merely acts of routine political rough-and-tumble. They were threats -- some rhetorical, some acted upon -- by one man with virtually unchecked legal powers.

Eliot Spitzer's self-destructive inability to recognize any limit on his compulsions was never more evident than his staff's enlistment of the New York State Police in a campaign to discredit the state's Senate Majority Leader, Joseph Bruno. On any level, it was nuts. Somehow, Team Spitzer thought they could get by with it. In the wake of that abusive fiasco, his public approval rating plunged.

Any other questions?

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