#371 Eliot's Fall
(Note to readers: Can someone please explain why commandment-busting Client Nine is escorted to the gallows while the President of the United States, who started an oil war that can't be won, put the economy in the tank, politicized every single federal agency, appointed unqualified buddies to high ranking positions where they failed, and about whom rumors of a romantic link with a cabinet official have been circulating gets off scott free?)
Guys named Eliot were always the ones getting beaten up at PS 150. They were always the guys you would at least punch out if you had the nerve, and Eliot Spitzer is no different. Smarmy, holier than thou, too smart for his own good. And at heart, he's a prosecutor, which carries with it the obligation to behave as if you can do no wrong and everyone else can and does.
Not this time. But wait.
Spitzer threw a carload of cash at a woman to have sex. No biggie. The only difference between Eliot and a million other guys is that (a) he was the governor of New York and (b) he got caught -- and caught in just the kind of wire tap that he was always setting up as a prosecutor.
Poetic justice. And the last laugh for all the crooks on Wall Street who hated his guts for being Eliot -- the guy you always wanted to punch out if you only had the nerve.
So, now there's all the wringing of hands and the ashen-faced wife standing at his side on television and saying nothing, but looking like she wants to be anywhere in the universe but standing next to the guy -- and in her heart, she, too, wants to punch him out and should.
This is a big deal in politics because everyone's worried about what the next guy will think of you if you don't make a big deal out of it.
Eliot's real problem isn't a high priced hooker and an interstate rendezvous. It's that he was a lousy governor. Backroom deals, spying on the opposition, Machiavellian plots. There's no room in public life for that stuff. Plus, he didn't get anything done. No one ever went into a political race backed by higher public hope. Even the opposition Republicans wanted this guy to win after the nothing years of Spitzer's predecessor, George Pataki. Spitzer won with 70 percent of the vote.
As for the prosty thing? My pal and former colleague Ellis Henican said it best in an off-handed comment on Fox Business TV the other night: "Guys do that."
And they have always "done that." And they're doing it right now as you're reading and/or hearing these words.
Whatever happens to Eliot or the various evangelist types or the various corporate types or the average guys who are at this very moment in the act of having sex with women (or men) not their wives, this is going to continue and it should be legal and regulated and taxed.
The women engaged in these kinds of arrangements now call themselves "sex workers." Sex workers need supervised health care. They need protection against the johns who aren't Governor of New York and who might bring a 9mm to the hotel room.
And America needs to stop wasting time, effort and energy on prosecuting "crimes" like this.
Prostitution "rings" (whatever that means) should be paying tax on their income. This investigation started as a tax case.
The bottom line: Prostitution should be legal.
But since it isn't, Eliot has to take the punch. He's responsible for what he did. The question in many minds -- and it hasn't been asked publicly elsewhere: was he somehow set up by the politicians who want to get rid of him or the Wall Street types who wanted to get even?
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®