It’s difficult to feel sorry for Eliot Spitzer, the soon to be former governor of New York. The man who once crusaded against prostitution has, himself, spent thousands on high-class call girls. The irony is inescapable. Spitzer joins the rapidly growing Larry Craig list of hypocritical politicians and Bible thumpers.
Spitzer’s wife and family have been deeply wounded by his behavior. Those wounds will leave emotional scars that may never heal. Spitzer has lost the trust of the public and will undoubtedly resign now that his political career is in ruins. He could also face charges of procuring a prostitute across state lines, which is a federal crime punishable by up to twenty years in prison.
But let’s think about his crime for a moment. We have two consenting adults engaging in sex for money. No one was physically injured. No one was forced to do something that he or she didn’t choose to do.
Now step back and compare Spitzer’s crime with the crimes sanctioned by the current occupant of the White House. Illegally wiretapping thousands of U.S. citizens. Torturing prisoners of war in direct violation of the Geneva Convention. Vetoing legislation that would outlaw waterboarding. Outing Valerie Plame, a covert CIA agent. Inventing a case for war with Iraq that has killed and maimed thousands of U.S. soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.
I could go on.
My point is not to suggest that Spitzer is innocent of a crime, although if he had been with a prostitute at the Bunny Ranch in Nevada, he would not have been charged.
My point is that Eliot Spitzer will pay dearly for his crime. Will George W. Bush ever pay for his?