March 13, 2008

The Emperor has no Clothes

I've been laid up sick (the flu?) for a couple of days now, so of course I have watched hours and hours of coverage of EmperorGate. Now, I'm not a resident of New York, but I certainly did witness the rise of Eliot Spitzer, as the rest of the politically-aware did. I heard the comparisons to Elliot Ness, of course. I watched as he rose quickly to the seat of Governor in NY, -- with one of the highest approval ratings ever. And all over the media, they are asking one question: Why would someone risk it all for tawdry sex?
After all, Mr. Spitzer had a record of being particularly tough on crime -- cracking down on prostitution rings of the sort he'd later (simultaneously?) use himself. There is endless footage of him talking tough about crime.
More and more information is now coming out about the call girl whom he solicited the night he was wiretapped. Twenty-two year old "Kristen" is only 4 years older than Spitzer's oldest daughter (he has three), comes from a abusive broken family, and turned to high-class prostitution as a way out.
I guess what I see is this: Mr. Spitzer rose to power quickly, and therefore felt he deserved what powerful men possess. Even the good guys see women as possessions. And so he possessed — to the tune of $80,000 or more — and became one of the most glaring recent examples of arrogance and hypocrisy in politics. I'm not giving him any kind of pass or excuse here, but I imagine we'll be seeing a continuation of this story as long as we value women only as possessions in our culture.