Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sustainable Government?

is it something in the water? seriously, this region is having trouble sustaining governors! NY, NJ & CT don't seem to be able to hold on to governors, and they go out in such glorious public humiliation - governor elliot spitzer being the most recent.
while his wife silda looks utterly miserable, and who wouldn't be in her pumps, it amazes me that there is already a feminist backlash against her for standing by her man. i can't say i would be so gracious. my man would be doing his resignation speech with black eyes at the very least, but i can say that it is an intensely private and intimate issue gone wildly public. i feel terrible for their kids. no doubt beyond his painfully public shame that will cast a nasty pall over them all for a while, there are other legal considerations that may impact the entire family and cause new york's former first lady to show up near the podium on such an odious occasion.

there is fodder for late night monologues for months. i'm already sick of hearing men ponder what one gets for the amount of money mr. spitzer paid for his call girls. if another guy says, "i'm client #10" i'm going to apply a swift boot to their tantalized private thoughts where they live.

okay, all bad metaphors aside, who is running the state? all these escapades are not only costly in terms of ineffective way of operating a state, but also in terms of credibility and the last shred of the public's faith in our current form of governance.

it will take a team of therapists to figure out why mr. spitzer, the butt-kicker of wall street, man of seemingly strident ethics, gave way not only to some questionable moral behavior (perhaps a sexual addiction?), but blatantly illegal activity! he was the head law enforcement official before being governer. he probably broke several laws - ones he helped to enforce. what's up with that? a friend surmised today that spitzer probably wanted to get caught and it is hard to believe otherwise when you really think about it.

i guess lt. gov. david paterson will be sprung into the governor's place in albany. i thought spitzer had some good green-leaning policies and i was impressed with the enthusiasm he displayed at the farm aid event that took place in ny at randall's island last year. i don't live in ny, but i was kind of hopeful on new yorker's behalf having heard him at the press conference prior to the event. he seemed quite committed to helping bring together the farmer's of ny state and the consumers of new york city through the development and support of additional farmer's markets and other farmer-friendly programs.

hope gov paterson will think and act along the same lines!



Kim said...

I don't think it's fair for there be any backlash against Silda. Spitzer is a hypocrite. It never fails to boggle my mind that powerful men somehow think that different standards apply to them. I must say that if I were in Silda's shoes, I wouldn't be standing by the man.

Meg & Jen said...

yes, we are two peas in a pod on this one.

Hans said...

SPECULATION WARNING! Everything you read below, except the first paragraph, is pure speculation and most likely, not really worth reading. However, if you are in the mood for some gossip rag style reading, continue at your own risk.

I have been thinking about Spitzer and all of those who are caught executing some impropriety and my conclusion is they believe they will not be caught. It is pretty simple. When someone plans to do something, like see a hooker or buy drugs or speed in their car, they have to make a risk assessment, if the risks are tolerable and there is a reasonable chance in their mind they will not be caught, they go through with it. That is why he did it. He believed that he wouldn’t be caught.

Maybe there were some contributing situations that tipped the balance of the risk assessment. He was probably not completely happy or sated at home and didn’t see another solution. Many of his friends and advisors imaginably have used a similar service with impunity and he figured the rewards out weighed the risks. Additionally, maybe he suffered from a sense of isolation after having been a superhero for so many years. So he wanted to have some commitment free sex/relationship where he could unload his stress, fears and isolation. So at this point he has three choices: celibacy/frustration, hooker or affair. Maybe there are others, however for now lets limit them. Celibacy doesn’t really seem like a reasonable option. The affair seemingly would be more damaging to marriage because ‘love’ can get involved and become a real problem. So the most convenient option is hooker. And if you believe you won’t get caught, they you don’t have to factor in the fact that it is a crime to pay for sex in most states.

Spitzer is a thinker, I am sure he puzzled over this for a long time before he acted. I am sure he weighed the options before he made a decision. Unfortunately, he made the wrong decision and got caught. This is how things work. There are two ideas burned into the collective conscious that immediately come to mind: the stereo type about men and sex and the Greek tragedies. These ideas are born of millennia of experience. Spitzer now has to come under the wrath of the system he helped build and enforce. Maybe the Universe saw it was time he ate a big fat piece of humble pie.