Rule #1: If you ride into elective office as a crusader on your white horse, people will try to knock you off. If you’re arrogant, they’ll try harder. In Spitzer’s case, he came into office on a streamroller but the lesson is the same. The forces of bureaucracy and the status quo are incredibly powerful. Show any sign of vulnerability or hypocrisy and they’ll stop you right in your tracks.
Rule #2: You need friends and allies in politics. Even politicians with the best intentions get pushed off course. But without people on your side, you’ll spend most of your time trying to get out of a ditch. Your adversaries will work tirelessly to keep you there. Since his inauguration, Spitzer has even had people in his own party cheering for his demise.
The New York Times had a profile of Lieutenant Governor David A. Paterson, who will become this nation’s fourth-ever African American governor, and who is legally blind. But there’s much more to the story. Glenn Greenwald wants to know who cares if Eliot Spitzer hires prostitutes? And my DocuDharma colleague ek hornbeck angrily made the point:
On the one hand we have a man who, if every single allegation and inference is proven true, paid money to have sex and tried to conceal that fact from his wife, the government, and the people who elected him. He hypocritically denounced the crimes he was committing.
On the other hand we have a man who is a war criminal. Who’s administration has killed hundreds of thousands of innocents (maybe along with a few guilty). and rendered millions homeless refugees. Who has condemned millions of women to Sharia Law and Burkas. Who lied 935 times to us and the whole world. Who is even now plotting to extend this illegal war that has damaged our national defense and our economy in a direction that will DESTROY IT!
But others question the very process that led to Spitzer’s getting busted. Because it fits a certain sinister pattern.