Tuesday, March 11, 2008

No ifs, ands, or buts

I thought of this post from a few days ago as I read Eliot Spitzer's public apology. See if you can find the word "if" anywhere...

“I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family and violates my, or any, sense of right and wrong,” the governor said. “I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public to whom I promised better.”

“I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family.”
The fact that he didn't equivocate or couch his apology in conditional terms like "Straight-Talking" John McCain might is small consolation for a huge disappointment -- Spitzer's inexcusable (although I subscribe to aimai's witch-hunt suggestion) actions have brought a great modern Democratic success story to a crashing end -- but it does point out that while the other guys are morally bankrupt from A to Z, some of our guys still have enough of a shred of decency to stand up there and face the music. Is this what it's come to?

What s--ks about corruption and scandal is that, at least up until recently, even though more Republicans than Democrats have been caught and exposed as deviant or on the take -- not to mention that many have explicitly stated their Norquistian goal of looting and vandalizing the public trust -- the predictable reaction "There's no difference between Democrats and Republicans; all politicians are crooked" has somehow resulted in more votes for Republicans over the years.

And that's not the only asymmetrical aspect to these things. A Republican is calling for impeachment of Spitzer if he doesn't step down in 48 hours. If you're a Democrat, the Republican impeachment machine is on a 7 by 24 hair-trigger; if you're a Republican, you have nothing to fear, least of all from Democrats <spits in disgust>. Spitzer may even have voluntarily resigned by the time I hit "publish" on this, and yet a creep like Larry Craig is still in office.

Does that mean if Eliot Spitzer went on TV and vehemently denied being straight, he could keep his job? Just asking.