Wednesday, March 12, 2008

When Spitzer's Demise Happens, It Doesn't Benefit You, Only The Criminals On Wall Street


Photo: NY Mag

The title of the blog is true. To anyone reading this, the fact is that Eliot Spitzer's demise is welcomed by the people that DON'T have YOUR interest in mind. When they announced the news on the NYSE floor, cheers rang out. Cheers of joy for the good old days of business as usual.

Before I go any further, before you read on and say, jeez, doesn't he realize this man violated the sanctity of his marriage, I just want to point to a stat. 60% of married American men have affairs. Ladies, don't feel left out, some 40% of you are having affairs as well. Oh and how does this break down to percent of marriages having an affair? 80% of all marriages have one spouse who has an affair. Of course this doesn't mean it's right, but it's curious how if only 20% of marriages are completely monogamous how the nation can be so outraged without themselves being hypocrites. This reminds me of when George Bush comes up in a conversation, despite the fact that he won 49% of the popular vote in two elections, I find only 10% of the population admits to voting for him.

Spitzer might have hired a prostitute, but in light of the fact that in at least 2 US states (Nevada and Rhode Island) sex for money is not illegal and in most other states consensual sex for money is merely a misdemeanor, you should be asking yourself is his resignation beneficial to you?

Other than embarrassing his family, those who elected him, and the State of New York, who was really hurt in this? And at this point in time, I think we are all past being embarrassed by a political sex scandal. The people of Arkansas seem to be OK post Bill Clinton. We will survive! Trust me, in a few weeks some career politician will do something far worse, and you won't even remember this.

Of course I'm not the only one that thinks prostitution is a victim less crime, the former mayor of New York City, Ed Koch, said on the record on CNN today that (while in no way defending Governor Spitzer) that he felt prostitution should not be a criminal offense.

What I've discovered through this is your government officials can steal from you, violate your rights, trample the constitution, waste your tax dollars, and overall do nothing productive, and you still vote for them. However, have consensual sex with "educated" women doing this because they WANT to and you are outraged. Maybe corruption is OK but fooling around isn't? If that is the case we as a nation have some issues to deal with.

Spitzer made a lot of enemies doing what few politicians do. He took on big business, he took on Wall Street, he took on the Federal government for it's wonton violation of the Clean Air Act. The battles he waged were for the People of the State of New York. Keep that in mind as you push him out the door.

Honestly there are true corrupt politicians in this country, one is the 3rd most powerful man in NY State politics, a state Senator named Joe Bruno. He's often investigated by the FBI for corruption and it's well known he's taken "gifts" for his votes. Such as the horses he received for a significantly lower than market value (as in almost free), which he breeds. A bribe that keeps giving, brilliant. I give Joe Bruno credit, he is a more savvy man than Eliot Spitzer, but I'm doubtful when the two of them stand before Saint Peter that Joe will truly be the better man.

Now that I've defended Eliot Spitzer, I have to say I am saddened by this news of his transgressions. The reality is, as perhaps the last truly great American statesman pointed out,

"When they call the roll in the Senate, the senators do not know whether to answer 'present' or 'guilty'."

I thought Spitzer was the next Theodore Roosevelt, the type of man that knew he was doing good work when big business was backed into the corner. Teddy Roosevelt said he knew the National Forest Service was a good thing the day he heard that some natural resource exploiters wanted him dead for attempting to create it. The fact is, if Roosevelt had not created the USFS or the NPS, people who cared only about the size of their bank accounts would have stripped this nation of every inch of our natural resources, and every bit of it's natural beauty.

Roosevelt and Spitzer have a lot of similarities. Both believed in the greater good for long term. They believe ideas are bigger than people. They believe action is louder than words. They both fought to end corruption at every level.

Teddy Roosevelt actually left his position as commissioner of the Police Department of the City of New York, believing he was a failure at the job because he couldn't completely end the corruption of the police. Unfortunately, ending corruption of those in a position of power is impossible, and when he left the department was far less corrupt than when he started.

As governor of New York State Roosevelt attacked corruption in big business, as well as the the political machines that wield way too much power. Roosevelt being a devout lover of nature managed to stop corruption in the Fisheries, Forest, and Game Commission where people with affluence ran the show. If you had enough money, you were more than welcome to kill the last moose in New York, just not on TR's watch. He modernized conservation efforts to manage forests and advocated the protection of wildlife.

Eliot Spitzer did much of the same as the two term New York Attorney General but in a few moments of CNN that was never mentioned, and it seems we have forgotten it.

Who knows what TR's real flaws were. In those days private lives seemed to stay somewhat private. American's have their heads in the sand if they think the most politicians aren't corrupt. They have their head in the sand if they think most politicians aren't hypocrites. How many staunch anti-gay rights Republicans have been found out to be closet homosexuals? How many pro-life Republicans have driven their girlfriends, mistresses, and even wives to the abortion clinic. How many claim to be pro second amendment when they spent careers battling the second amendment?

Spitzer's moral high ground for integrity is gone, unfortunately that action is louder than words philosophy goes both ways. However, I don't believe he is corrupt. I don't believe he compromised best interest of this state. I believe he let a lot of people down, I believe he embarrassed himself and many other people.

So as you wave Eliot out the door. Ask yourself, who is looking out for the welfare of the people of this state? If you think people connected to the political machines like the Bruno's and Silver's of this world are, you are mistaken.

And remember Wall Street certainly doesn't have your best interest in mind, they are the same exploiters that threatened Theodore Roosevelt for creating the National Forest Service. Don't believe me, look at how excited they are that he might be done in politics!

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