Thursday, March 13, 2008

A political obituary for Eliot Spitzer

I was just discussing the Spitzer scandal and the Manhattan prostitute, who is originally from Belmar, with someone who is involved in county politics. This is a seedy story, there's no doubt about it. It made the front-page of the APP, the Ledger, etc. It's news.

But let's face it, politicians are always going to have their scandals. As much as the most 'dignified' icons in the political jungle might want to believe otherwise, there is nothing preordained, anointed or otherwise supernatural about their respective leadership traits. Politicians are just people, who are as flawed and screwed up as anyone else.

Does it take some extraordinary ability to be a politician? Well, it takes some stage presence and ability to be presentable and communicate to some degree. They should be lucid, for sure.

But, taking for granted sparkling character? That is a reach. I can trust that politicians will portray they have sparkling character, and lie straight into anyone's face without a skipped step that it is true. They may even pledge great oathes and swear on the tomb of some long dead politician (who just never got caught at their bad character).

There are some great politicians out there, which I could count on two hands. And then there are most of them.

The deal here is that a former denizen of Monmouth County's malls is involved in this scandal as a prostitute, but that is less important than the fact that a hypocritical, alleged 'crime buster' who made his career preaching law and order but got caught otherwise is out of the game.

There's no lasting importance to Eliot Spitzer being caught in this scandal, or even him stepping down. I expect it will take all of 20 minutes for America to forget about him, as he settles into obscurity somewhere. If he's remembered at all, he will "the Love Gov," as he's been dubbed by the New York media. And as for the momentary celebrity of Gov. Spitzer's unconventional employee, her 15 minutes is probably on the clock.

Instead of being shocked, I think it's more a matter of waiting to see who is next. And there will be a next. There's always a 'next' with politicians. Does that sentiment say anything about politics and government? Maybe.

It's a hard game. There are some people at all levels that can handle it, but most cannot. In general, a few people in politics want to serve the people. But most just want to get stuff for themselves. The theater that goes on makes it hard to tell the difference between them for the audience, otherwise known as the electorate.

2 comments:

Joe Wedick said...

Yes, I agree - there will always be a next. They are humans, after all - not the "gods" that their PR machines want to put out there.
Good article, hits the mark.

JIM_PURCELL said...

Thanks, Joe.