Politics

We forgive you Eliot Spitzer. Now go away

We forgive you Eliot Spitzer. Now go away

Disgraced former New York governor Eliot Spitzer appeared on Morning Joe today and he cried. Or maybe he didn’t. (The video is below, decide for yourself.)

Maybe Spitzer is genuinely remorseful about the pain he caused. Maybe Spitzer is only sorry he got caught. That’s a topic for him, his family and his therapist. Me? I couldn’t care less either way. We can never bore into a man’s soul, nor should we want to. New Yorkers, of course, are also free to forgive Spitzer for cheating on his wife with a prostitute and wish him a peaceful life (hopefully, in obscurity.) But absolution doesn’t mean they should reward someone who acted so irresponsibly and corruptly with more power. Even he cries.

Spitzer is vying to be the next New York City comptroller because apparently even a little authority over other people is better than nothing. In addition to being just a disagreeable human being, it’s worth remembering that Spitzer’s abuses should have gotten him impeached long before he was known as Client #9. He was the worst kind of political bully. A reckless Attorney General. He was a disaster of a governor (his approval rating hovered around 30 percent before the scandal) whose career was bankrolled by his multi-millionaire father (and there too, there were questions about misconduct). And, though I happen to agree with Charles Cooke at the National Review on the topic of prostitution, Spitzer didn’t only cheat on his wife, he broke the law as it stood.

Now, sometimes we are presented with a distasteful choice (or, perhaps I should say, a more distasteful choice than usual): 1 – vote for a candidate who shares our ideological worldview but is a complete hypocrite or sleaze, or 2 – vote for a person we disagree with who is wholesome. That’s not the case here. New York is teeming with do-gooders and would-be “public servants” who can’t wait to hassle the private sector. Does Spitzer have some unique skill that makes him the only person in all Five Boroughs who is up to the task? Doubtful.

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Follow David Harsanyi on Twitter @davidharsanyi.

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