Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Eliot, you dumb schmuck...

...or, just another self-righteous do-gooder getting his tail caught in a crack.

There's a kind of smarmy pleasure to be derived from watching a sanctimonious bastard like New York's governor taking a fall, isn't there? His schtick has gotten close to being a cliche for politicians, evangelists and anyone else in the public eye: Mr Do-Right, the pillar of rectitude, guardian of your morals, suddenly revealed as a plain ol' grubby low-life.

Yup, you have to love it. Although I surprised myself a bit when the scandal broke yesterday: I realized that my usual knee-jerk reaction -- one based on seeing political leanings I oppose being held up as hypocritical, a desire to see those who flout morality get stomped and the normal desire to see arrogance take it on the chin -- just wasn't happening.

I'm getting tired of seeing people hurt other people, I guess. Spitzer's family doesn't deserve to get caught up in all the drama. And I'm saddened by the glee that people who feed off of politics -- the bloggers, the talk-show hosts -- are displaying. As if not a single one of them doesn't have their own grim little human foibles locked away behind a facade of morality and "rightness."

Oh, I do. I mean, I haven't ever signed up with a prostitution service or anything like that, but I've been in life too long to consider myself without sin. You swim with turds, you get smeared.

But at least I don't suggest that I have some better notions of how people should think and live than they do.

Moreover, I'm too familiar with the stereotypical reactions to want to hear them again. Everything from "he's a godless Democrat, whattya expect?" to "he's male and therefore thinks with his schwantz." I've heard all those reactions, and more, and frankly am tired of 'em.

Let it not be forgotten that, while Spitzer was getting jiggy with some high-dollar noffka in a hotel room, said female was not exactly Miss Innocence: she was raking in the big bucks and stands a good chance of clearing quite a few more from similar future horizontal and tell-all activities. We all know politicians and pillars of righteousness tend to be both whores and patrons of whores, all at once. Where's the surprise?

So there we are. I think Spitzer should haul butt out of public office instantly, and never again make any pronouncements on what anyone should do. I disagree with damn near everything he stands for, and suppose by reason of having accepted a life in the public eye he deserves to go in the tank when he screws up.

What it all comes down to is this: I judge you, you judge me. It's human nature. I try to take the sting out of it by being forthcoming about the basic fact that I have feet of clay, but it hurts like hell when people find me wanting in important areas. Even less-important ones.

I know how easy it is to slip up in small ways. I suppose if I had the access big-shots do, I'd find out about slipping up in big ways, too. Since I'm sick of being dismissed for my less-than stellar qualities, I'm putting a lot of effort into not judging harshly when the mighty -- or the not-so mighty -- take a dive. If Spitzer can't see how monumentally he has betrayed those close to him, it's not my place to tell him. I've been where his family are now, and I have heard all the rationalizations. And I've dispensed a little pain here and there as well.

I remember a line from a Kurt Vonnegut novel: "God Damn it kids, you've got to be kind."

I'm not all that swell at it myself. I'm trying.

And if those who think themselves above acting morally and kindly don't like it, it would be a favor to our unhappy world if they would simply go away and spare us the fuss.


becomingkate said...

I love it when the hypocrites fall.

Birdie said...

you would think would realise that they are going to get caught some day! We had a HUGE scandal at Volkswagen not too long ago... paid sex in Rio, etc. A few top managers of VW fell flat on their faces (=jail terms).

Now to go off and move those skeletons out of my closet to somewhere else, lol

inneedofgrace said...

Oh, what a wonderful world it would be if we all were a little kinder.
My heart breaks for his family. Nothing like having your mess tossed out in the public arena.
I'm so gald to see that you are so much better.
I'm keeping you in my prayers.

Justfly said...

Grubby low life is what he is.
I am hoping many Politicians are shaking like leaves right now. We all know Spitzer isn't the only one. He is just the one that got caught this time.
I have to admit, I am curious to what one gets for $4300.

MrScribbler said...

justfly -- I'm betting what the clients got for $4300 is exactly what the rest of us get for a fraction of that sum (when we get it), but maybe in a fancier wrapper.

Politicians don't shake in their boots about simple stuff like morality and honor. That's what makes them grubby low-lifes.

Anonymous said...

I'm also very curious what one gets for $4300. The big question in my mind is whether or not his wife will leave him. I would. Dirty bastard.


MrScribbler said...

H -- My feeling is that none of the women I know and respect would have married him in the first place. I'm betting this is not entirely new behavior for him.

class factotum said...

Would there be such a hue and cry if he had a lover instead of hiring a hooker? As in, why is it worse to pay for it than to get it for free?

I'm not giving him a pass, but I don't see why it should be illegal to take money for something a lot of women do for free.

I also think this is between him and his wife, although there is the awkward part of an elected official breaking the law he swore to uphold.

John0 said...

Too much attention is paid to what others do with their privates.

I tend to agree with CF except I am not so sure it is ever really free.

The hypocrisy is the most annoying aspect, as well as the profitable lack of discretion on the part of authors of tell alls.
The actual event is not something I'd consider worth making illegal in the first place.

The rest is between the perp and his family.

I'd much rather see them go down for their real crimes against humanity, but they tend to have a great deal of public support for those.

MrScribbler said...

CF & John -- I guess for me, an old-fashioned boy who believes in fidelity, the worst part is not being able to trust politicians (for yet another reason) and, as CF says, because he chooses to impose one code on others while not following it himself.

Otherwise, as the late, great Benny Hill used to say, "it doesn't matter what people do in the privy of their own homes."

John0 said...

I should add that while I wish his real crimes against humanity and freedom were the official reason for his demise, it is a fine day for America that his power may crumble. The man rivals Che in the methods employed in his implementation of alleged ideals.