12 March 2008

Spitzer swallows*

*Apologies to Jon Stewart, it was too good not to steal.

I can't find myself getting too excited one way or another on this Spitzer deal, nor do I see exactly why it's such an all-encompassing national story. The press loves them a salacious sex scandal, so naturally there's been more coverage of this already than the entire Abramoff affair or any other non-kinky government corruption.

I think Stephanie Mencimer at MoJo has the best take I've read. Spitzer was a dedicated foe of Wall Street, and every dough-nosed suit'n'tie in the city had a three-kegger to celebrate his downfall. And that's too bad, but there's not much you can say for him. Anyone with such powerful enemies should be more careful. Of course, that Republicans were threatening impeachment if Spitzer didn't resign (which he now has), is especially delirious; the right will impeach at the drop of a zipper, but you can't get Sensible Democrats to say the word despite Bush's own involvement in child prostitution.

Interesting historical note: Some outlets are reporting that Spitzer could be prosecuted under the Mann Act, an archaic, ad hoc legislation designed primarily to nail Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion who was fond of running with white women much to the dismay of the white establishment.