Hookers, Hubris and Hypocrisy

Unless you've been under a rock since yesterday, you already know about the political earthquake rocking New York, where Governor Eliot Spitzer's days in office appear to be numbered due to a breaking lurid prostitution scandal. Gov. Spitzer made his bones as a federal prosecutor, going after Wall Street cheats and busting two prostitution rings. Then, yesterday, we learned that he had been implicated as a client of a high-priced "escort service," Emperor's Club V.I.P., paying $4300 for an evening's adventure in a Washington hotel room, and it appears that it wasn't the first time that he had utilized their services.

As a prosecutor, Gov. Spitzer was known to be a self-righteous sanctimonious crusader against fraud, corruption and vice, making many enemies in the process. Now, we learn that under his squeaky clean facade, he was involved in the same sort of activities that he had prosecuted with such relish. And while people may forgive a man for getting caught paying for sexual favors, they won't forgive hypocrisy of this magnitude.

Gov. Spitzer apparently felt that the law didn't apply to him, or that at the very least, that he was so smart that he wouldn't get caught. Unfortunately for him, the large amounts of money he was moving, which fell just short of the $10,000 level required to be reported by banks to the government, still managed to draw the attention of the bank, the IRS and the FBI. It was then only a matter of time until the dark secrets came to light.

I don't feel sorry for Gov. Spitzer. He brought this on himself, and the harsh way that he treated other people is going to rebound on him in this matter. I did feel sorry for his wife, Silda, at yesterday's press conference, though. I saw her standing stone-faced at his side and I really felt kind of bad about what her husband had put her through. She certainly didn't deserve to be put in that situation. It's always the cuckolded spouse (usually the wife, although sometimes the husband) and the children that are the innocent victims in a case like this.

One thing's for sure: That was some very expensive extra-marital activity. He managed to dicker (oops, perhaps that's the wrong word) the rate down from $5500 to $4300, but still, it turned out to be no bargain. There's a lot of schadenfreude on the streets of New York today among Gov. Spitzer's enemies. The moralistic crusader is shown to be a hypocrite, a whited sepulcher hiding interior corruption.