Alex Blaze

Eliot Spitzer, the Department of Justice, and you!

Filed By Alex Blaze | March 11, 2008 1:23 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Department of Justice, Eliot Spitzer, Larry Craig, sexual policing, wiretapping

I'm not really inclined to post on the Spitzer drama since it isn't really all that directly LGBTQ-related, but it does demonstrate something I've been shouting about on this blog in several 0-2 comment posts: don't get personally invested in politicians. They're human. In fact, many of us see it as a positive that they're human. (Quiet down, Diebold State Governing Unit 3000.)

Our involvement in electoral politics should begin outside it, envisioning the world we want to see, imagining ways to get there, and then seeing how the government can help us get there and exactly who should be elected to implement that vision.

That said, I don't really see that big deal here. I'm sorry, I know, since I also said that what Larry Craig did wasn't all that big of a deal, he was just lookin' for a little lovin' in all the wrong places. If they find out that Spitzer mistreated any of the prostitutes, then off with his balls. But there hasn't been any evidence of that leaked yet.

What actually interests me about this case is the fact that the Department of Justice is so closely involved. For all the states' rights buffs out there, this is a federal encroachment on the states. For all of us others who think that the separation of police powers is mostly just to spread the burden of governing and allow some regional differences in the US, it's out of character and a definite red flag that they were involved and wire-tapping Eliot Spitzer because of a suspicious bank transaction.

Note to anyone in the DOJ assigned to follow this blog: wiretapping isn't the answer to everything.

Jane Hamsher is the woman of the hour with all the right questions about the way this investigation's being conducted. And Digby takes on the Mann Act argument.

But besides that, here we have a governor who I hear the people of New York generally liked* having his career destroyed over what is, for what we know right now, sexual intercourse between consensual adults. All this proves about him was that he had sexual needs that he thought would be met by hiring someone to meet them.

Before we condemn him, as several lefty bloggers have, I think we should all examine our sex lives, imagine it being on the front page of any major newspaper, and wondering if we'd have a career in politics after that. I think that almost all of us have done a few things that would "disqualify" us from holding a prominent public office, and a few other sex acts that are or were considered illegal in some states. And the only difference between us and those successful politicians is that the latter group is great at lying and covering up.

If we don't want to accept that fact, then I'll call Diebold and get them started on more DSGU3K's. It makes slurpees after it privatizes the state highway system!

(Mike Rogers also posted on this today, after I had started to write this thinking that no one else would write about this. Go read his post, it's an interesting queer perspective on this wonderfully heterosexual sex scandal.)

*Update: Reader crescentdave points us to this polling on Gov. Spitzer. He isn't that popular, and I was going by what some people I know from New York thought about him. Yeah, seriously. Bad blogger!

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I agree with you, Alex. Even politicians are people - I think. I see no reason for all of the public apology or interest in two consenting adults, even if one consents for a price.

I am originally from NJ. Everyone in the state knew McGreevy was gay long before he announced it. Most knew long before he was elected as governor. I did, and I was not an "insider". IMHO, he resigned because he was corrupt and under a lot of investigation. Resigning was one way he could take the heat off. An insider agreement. I would not be surprised if this thing with Spitzer has been orchestrated for the same purpose.

Spitzer could afford to pay $4K for a simple sexual liason. That money came from somewhere. Follow the money and you will find the real crime.

ps- NJ is a cesspool of corrupt politicians, but that is a different subject. And there are some honest politicos out there. They just have a tough time staying that way.

crescentdave | March 11, 2008 4:55 PM

It's not about sex. It's about breaking THE SAME laws he used in order to prosecute others as an AG. The law may or may not be stupid, but until it's changed, it's still the law. The fact he's gone after others and made numerous public statements condemning the same behavior of others adds to the stink quotient.

And as far as the attitude of NY residents towards Spizer? The majority of New Yorkers are fed up with his inability to govern effectively and deal with the deficit. The majority want him to resign. Now.

Thanks, dave, updated.

And it's totally about sex. This wouldn't be getting the coverage it is if it weren't for the sex. The fact that the law is stupid doesn't mean that he shouldn't be prosecuted, it just means that I'm not going to take it out on him. I know where he's coming from, even if I've never hired a prostitute, and something about the first to cast a stone.

OMG, Alex Blaze from a year ago! You were saying exactly the same thing I'm saying now about Sam Adams! We're nothing if not consistent.

crescentdave crescentdave | March 11, 2008 9:36 PM

Yeah, well ... here comes one of those revisions I'm famous for ... it's about sex and it's NOT about sex, all at once. How's that for clarity? If he was having sex with someone and not paying for it ... there'd be some news value. It would probably play best locally, before going national in a limited sort of way. But with laws involved, with the DOJ involved, with the IRS involved ... it became actionable and the media and the republicans poured gasoline onto the original fire.

No matter WHAT the offense, it will ALWAYS be news in a presidential election year when the governor of New York commits an offense which could result in his forced resignation, impeachment or the ensuing battle to avoid these outcomes.

Alex you know perfectly well if he was a Republican you would be the first calling for his head why the double standard here?Because hes one of your own pfft.

What are you talkin' about, Cathy? I was cheering Larry Craig on in his judicial fight to clear his name, and, last I checked, he was a Republican.

So pfft to you! :)

And you called for his head to but not this guy?

I posted like 800 times on Larry Craig here at TBP since I was the one who took that story and ran with it. My first post was just laughing at the whole thing, because that was back when I was young and brash. Then I posted a few times about how we're living in an effin' police state if the Minnesota cops are going undercover in the bathroom to bag a fag. Then I posted a few times about gays' reactions and assimilations into the dominant sexual norms because some were calling for his head. And then I just followed the court case because it's turned out to be pretty interesting (he's appealing again! but that won't get a post).

I don't remember ever calling for his head. I never thought he should have been entrapped or censured in the Senate. In fact, my first thought was that he should have just called the pig a liar from the start, right there at the airport, and just run with that.

Um, sorry Cathy - Alex never called for his head. Ever. He defended Craig based on sexual freedom - as he just did Spitzer. :)

Personally, he hired a prostitute. Big deal. I don't see why Republicans are all worked up and there had to be a federal investigation when David Vitter just got applauded by other Republican legislators.

All right maybe you didnt but let's face it you no fan of his and if he left office like he originaly said he was going to youd be happy.

But I have seen to many tring to give the governor a pass on his little hmm event shall we say.Its only sex after all etc then even Billy got his for free.Then last I checked paying for sex is a crime in all but a few places in Nevada.

ok good nite folks see ya laters!

oy gevalt! some crime! we all pay for sex, one way or another. with our hearts, with our wallets. which is actually cheaper? and which is more dear? criminalizing prostitution is just another method that men have used to keep women down. men just like spitzer. the hypocrisy is the crime.