March 10, 2008

A Good Man's Weakness

For those of us for whom forty-eight years old is a milepost we only see (distantly) in the rear view mirror, it must be said that Eliot Spitzer's imminent downfall is completely understandable. And forgivable, if you want my opinion. That's a difficult age for a man. Not quite young, not quite old, the vital force still completely capable of wreaking havoc on an otherwise orderly life -- if only Spitzer had been the governor of Amsterdam, for example. It looks as though Spitzer prepped for a D.C. appearance before a Congressional committee by sampling the wares of something called Emperors Club VIP, a "high class" prostitution ring.

Which brings up a point of free market economics, which Spitzer did far more than most people to enforce during his days as New York's Attorney General. The Emperors Club ladies of the night are ranked on a scale of one star to seven, and at the top end of the menu the whores rent out at $5,500 per hour. That's much more than any lawyer I know, although one must point out, in fairness, that when a lawyer screws you it's no fun at all. I think (without being sure) that in Amsterdam (or other European countries where prostitution is legal) that no prostitute commands $5,500/hour, even when servicing a Saudi prince who uses M notes to even a coffee table leg. But here in America, of course, sex (that most indispensable of all human services) is illegal when you pay for it directly, instead of through the intermediary routes of flower shops, candy stores and bartenders. Thus, as with marijuana (another human foible freely available on the open market in the Netherlands), the market price of poontang is artificially high here in God's country.

Spitzer did more than anyone I know in public life to bring some fairness to the rigged machinations of the Wall Street markets, particularly all the insider and sweetheart arrangements between big players and the mutual funds. For a long time the funds had screwed the little investor, both by denying the average guy the timing advantages of investors preferred by the big brokerages and by the shilling that went on through the "research" arms of brokerages (see for example: Enron). Spitzer, without any help from the complicit Bush Administration, leveled the playing field about as far as it's likely to get leveled.

Now he dips his wick and he's out. Soon we'll be subjected to all the sanctimonious crap from his right-wing detractors about his "hypocrisy" and the rest of the bluenose baloney. I wish he'd pull a Sarkozy on them and say he's a man who does what men sometimes do. Pay the fine, if there is one, and move on. Dare America to just forget about it. Dare America to grow up.

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