Spitzer Scandal: Political Hypocrisy

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[Speaking Truth To Power]


So, ex-New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has resigned in disgrace after getting caught with his pants down snagged by a joint FBI and IRS investigation that exposed the former attorney general as a patron of prostitutes.

Lieutenant Governor David Paterson will become governor effective March17.

Spitzer’s premature political demise started after a Norfork Bank reported transactions they deemed suspicious to the IRS, under the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970, which was instituted to combat money laundering. The IRS then contacted the FBI who initiated wiretaps which led to a prostitution ring, the Emperor’s Club VIP.

Four people were arrested and charged under the Mann Act of 1910, also known as the White Slave Traffic Act.  Mr. Spitzer reportedly spent thousands of dollars on prostitutes. One troubling question is: did he use taxpayer dollars?

A politician preaching one thing while practicing another; where have we read this scri pt before?  Politicians and prostitutes have things in common. Both ply tricks in their trade and constantly sell themselves. However, politicians lack honesty. Truthfully, are the Congress and White House anything more than whorehouses for servicing the excesses of the rich and well connected?

In the post Monica Lewinsky-gate world of politics, we have seen an orgy of sex scandals. The list includes: former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevy, Florida Rep. Bob Allen, Louisiana Councilman Joey DiFatta, Louisiana Rep. David Vitter, Florida Rep. Mark Foley and Idaho Senator Larry Craig.

Senator Larry “I have never been gay” Craig, who voiced opposition to gay marriage, was caught propositioning an undercover male cop in a public bathroom. Rep. Mark Foley, former Chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children engaged in sexual behavior with teenage congressional pages.

Rep. Bob Allen offered a Black undercover officer money to perform oral sex on the officer. When he was busted he claimed that he made the offer because he is afraid of big Black men. Washington State Rep. Richard Curtis who repeatedly voted against gay rights legislation ruined his career when his gay tryst with 26-year-old Cody Castagna was revealed.

Apparently, Curtis has a penchant for wearing racy women’s lingerie. The greatest scandal of all relating to these politicians is their absolute dishonesty and hypocrisy. Spitzer’s fall is instructive of why America’s political system is so rotten. For within American politics, false images are created daily to erect and elect those who lust and sell their souls to have power over us.

Fraud and deception are the tools our “leaders” use to obtain that power. Mr. Spitzer is but a microcosm of the larger sham within the American polity. Here is a man who as New York’s Attorney General prosecuted prostitutes. This “do as I say, not as I do” kind of “leadership” has created the corrupt cesspool that is synonymous with political power inside the D.C. Beltway, and in this nation’s legislative corridors.

During his initial press conference, Mr. Spitzer had the temerity to claim this is a “private matter” before refusing to answer reporter’s questions. If it was a “private matter” what was he “apologizing to the public” for? Some —like Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz, Spitzer’s former professor—stated that he shouldn’t resign, although, as governor he broke a law others are expected to obey.

This kind of inconsistency is standard practice for the political powerful who feel they are entitled to do as they please. Many pundits have labeled this a “tragedy.” Unfortunately, this sentiment partly implies that Spitzer’s behavior is aberrant and isolated in politics. Wrong.

This is typical of the self-righteous stiff shirts that run our government. Remember the D.C. Madam story where Louisiana Rep. Vitter’s phone number was found? How about former New Jersey Governor McGreavy, who was forced out of the closet and admitted to having sex with strange men on the streets of New Jersey? Isn’t it clear that we haven’t begun to uncover the tip of the iceberg?

Before Spitzer resigned he was being threatened with impeachment. The irony here is that we have a “president” in the White House who made false claims and plunged us into a trillion dollar war, caused the deaths of nearly 4,000 US soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, yet why aren’t politicians pushing for his impeachment?

Media are also selective in issues of moral “outrage.” Recall that the “decider” in-chief  refused to answer questions about his cocaine use before entering office. Yet, we have tens of thousands of poor people—many of them Blacks and Hispanics—incarcerated for the use of crack cocaine.

Vice-President Dick Cheney shot his “friend” in the face while they were quail hunting. The vice president left the scene—my guess is that he was drunk—and refused to talk to the police until days later.

What do you think would happen if you shot someone in the face, left the scene, then refused to speak to police, until you
decided you were ready? The reality is most politicians believe laws are for regular people, not them.

Mr. Spitzer’s corruption and arrogance is the thread that connects and undresses him and all the other morally bankrupt hypocrites running America.


Benjamin is a member of The Black Star News's Editorial Board. 


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"Speaking Truth To Power."


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