Friday, March 14, 2008

Big News: Politician Has Sex!

I don't know if you heard, but it appears New York governor Eliot Spitzer is "linked" — that's the word the media's clung to — to a prostitution ring. Lord help us! The man violated the sacred bond between him and his wife, and that just proves that he's incapable of running the state government, because those two concepts are totally related. You know who'd make a great executive leader? The guy I have in mind has never been involved in a sex scandal, although he has a few other kerfuffles in his career: there was this minor forgery thing, these incidents in prisons he set up, and he sort of oversaw these decrepit veterans' hospitals, and there was this time he put this horse judge in charge of FEMA, and he accidentally compromised national security by leaking the identity of a CIA agent, and once or twice or three times he bribed the press, and he kind of subverted our democracy and our system of checks and balances, but not a single sex scandal. Except this one. And this one.

See, the difference between the Bush scandals and Spitzer's high-end hookers is that when Bush fires eight U.S. Attorneys because they refuse to advance his political agenda, that matters. Not only does it directly affect the Democrats who are unjustly persecuted — I mean, prosecuted — but also the body politic, as the representatives inject their own partisanship into our government. Spitzer, on the other hand, might have hurt his family — not that the New York Post was complaining when that Moment of Truth lady threw away her marriage on FOX — but it's completely separate from the state government and its role in the citizen's lives. Spitzer's indiscretions don't threaten anyone else's marriage, do they?

As usual, our sex-phobic culture overreacted to what's irrelevant and continues to ignore real, albeit less lurid, issues. Maybe people will pay more attention to the economic crisis if we surround it with strippers.

Along the same lines of public actions that matter and private behavior that doesn't, I don't see why we're not legalizing prostitution in the first case. Somebody wants to purchase sex, someone else wants to get paid for it — why should anyone else be getting involved, telling them to stop? Calling him a hypocrite is fair enough, but it's not like Spitzer is the first politician ever to say one thing and do the opposite.