I was in the middle of a couple of other things I was trying to develop when this blasted itself all over the place.
First and foremost, this is awful for Eliot Spitzer’s family; the innocent people who are victimized the worst deserve the most sympathy and support as far as I’m concerned. And lest anyone think I’m being soft here because of his party, I should point out that that is the case whether we’re talking about a Democrat or a Republican. Besides, we all laughed at Larry Craig in the men’s room, but I can also recall a chortle or two over Gary Hart’s escapade with Donna Rice back in the ‘80s (and the boat was named “Monkey Business”; could Hart have looked any worse in all of that?).
But politically (which, again, is of secondary importance), this is a disaster.
I don’t see how Spitzer stays on the job here; indeed, it’s being reported on at least two networks that he’s resigning (OK, so one of them is Fox).
And how much worse could it be than for “Mr. Law and Order” sent to Albany to clean things up to go down like this?
And as I ponder this, I’ve also been wondering about the information presented here.
And you’d also better believe that one of the reasons why the Repugs are “partying like its 2004” at this moment is because they’re going to inject even more ungodly amounts of cash into New York now to run ads in those media markets for McCain, particularly if Obama gets the nomination (with Clinton beating him decisively there, as you can read from the link above – John Kerry won New York by nearly a million and a half votes in the general election here in ‘04, sure, but he also won the Democratic primary in that state by a wide margin). I’d love to be wrong, but I cannot help but see now that this state is more “in play” than it should be as a result of this.
And also, get ready for the media to employ the “Clinton Rules” and resurrect every national Democratic sex scandal imaginable (I mentioned Gary Hart, but we’ll hear about McGreevey again too, as well as all of the real and alleged sins of “The Big Dog” himself).
First we have to beat back all of the pundit narrative about how it’s so bad for the Dems to have this close contest between Hillary and Obama and how it’s supposedly strengthening McCain (and by the way, Mark Udall in Colorado quoted in this story, try “growing a pair” based on your “Chicken Little” statement), and now we have this.
Thanks for nothing, Eliot (and by the way, at least you could have tried juggling multiple mistresses or something and shown some discretion, not that I encourage that sort of thing, but...).
Update 3/10/08: Jane H. at firedoglake is typically all over this like "white on rice" here, and good for her. Of course Spitzer didn't get a fair shake versus Vitter - Diaper Dave was given every opportunity to get some kind of a story ready before it "hit the fan." That's all the more reason, though, for Spitzer to know what would happen to him if he ever got nailed on something like this.
And seeking prosecution under the Mann Act is typical for a bunch of tightass Repugs. They've prosecuted a lot of other high-profile types under that stupidly Puritanistic, racist law also.
Update 3/11/08: Glenn Greenwald makes some good points here (with a link back to Jane H.), as does Susan G of The Daily Kos here, including the reader note that the identity of "Diaper Dave" was never leaked out of the DOJ, but Spitzer's identity was leaked a week after the initial arrest in the Emperor V.I.P. case (that was the name of the service Spitzer contacted).
And of course, since were talking about the "Clinton Rules" here, we're not going to know exactly what Spitzer and the other consenting adult did (we wouldn't know anyway since it may go to court, unbelievably enough), but we WILL hear about this every (drip) single (drip) day (drip) in our media.
And speaking of lag time, we heard about Spitzer a week after the initial arrest as Susan G notes, but when it came to "Senator Wide Stance" and his little frolic in the Minneapolis men's room, that took place last summer but we didn't know about it until almost the fall, and the person who broke it was the cop who ran the sting, not the DOJ.
Update 3/12/08: These numbers from kos show Obama up 14 over McCain as of now, so it's possible that my worries are unfounded. However, these will tighten up before it's all over; how much is anyone's guess (and by the way, Spitzer is officially out now.
Update 3/16/08: On a totally unrelated note, "spank my butt and call me Charlie" for Udall standing up here (h/t Daily Kos).
Update 3/17/08: More than a little food for thought here...