Tuesday, March 11, 2008

So Eliot, What Are You Waiting For?

Feeling a little flat today, Mr. Steamroller?

Well, you should.

While I have nothing but empathy for Mrs. Spitzer and his three daughters, who must be in unbearable pain, the time has already passed for Eliot Spitzer to depart the stage.

It's one thing if this were a first-time offense by a man with human frailties, but as noted by the New York Post, here was a guy with an enemies list stretching to the Golden Gate Bridge, a trail of careers ruined and reputations trashed.
Yes, Spitzer has been convicted of nothing. But the level of specificity in the complaint is such that, as a practical matter, he can't possibly remain in office.

And that would be so even if he weren't carrying so much extra baggage.

Such as:

* The Dirty Tricks scandal, which saw top Spitzer aides sending the State Police to spy on Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno. Spitzer's precise complicity in the abuse of power remains unknown.

* His uncontrollable temper, best exemplified by his now-famous "I'm a [expletive] steamroller, and I will destroy you" tirade to Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco, not long before reportedly referring to Bruno, in the wake of the Dirty Tricks scandal, as "an old, senile piece of sh--."

* His overt hypocrisy, like the encouragement of political donors looking to subvert the strict gift limits he so publicly set for himself.

At some point, a pattern emerges: Eliot Spitzer believes the rules don't apply to him - not even, apparently, those to be found in the federal criminal codes.

How else to explain the self-destructive behavior outlined in that federal affidavit - not only allegedly patronizing a prostitution ring, but also leaving a trail of phone calls, text messages, cellphone records and wire transactions?
Andrea Peyser has some advice for Silda Spitzer.

Fred Dicker, nearly alone amongst newsman in pursuing this arrogant boob since he became governor, says the bully has gotten his comeuppance.
A disgraced Gov. Spitzer has been publicly and privately described for more than a year by New York's top political figures as ruthless, sanctimonious, amoral man whose righteous public persona was regularly contradicted by the realities of how he conducted his political life.

Talk about confirmation!

Whether it was Spitzer's involvement in the Dirty Tricks and Internal Revenue scandals that targeted Senate Republican Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, his threats against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and other Assembly Democrats, his undermining through rumor and innuendo of Lt. Gov. David Paterson, or his seemingly paranoid hostilities to Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Spitzer's style struck many as so far out of line with his public claims of righteousness that many started using the jargon of abnormal psychology to describe him.

When Spitzer described himself as a "f- - -ing steamroller" to Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco after less than a month in office, Tedisco - a muscular, one-time, star college athlete - confided to an associate, "This guy scares me."

"There's something wrong with Spitzer, something wrong in his head," Bruno, who was cleared by Cuomo of any misuse of the same state aircraft that Spitzer may have used for a liaison with a prostitute, has told friends.

"He's a liar, he's a hypocrite and he cannot ever been trusted," Bruno continued in a recent conversation.

Bruno, 79, who was allegedly called a "senile piece of s- - -" by the governor, has even claimed Spitzer threatened him physically.
Scads of reaction via Memeorandum.

More local reaction:

Newsday calls for his imemdiate resignation.

NY Sun: Spitzer Without Tears.

The New York Times, naturally, laments the fact his alleged reformist agenda cannot continue. What a pity.

Michael Goodwin in the Daily News: Eliot Spitzer's just gotta go
Eliot Spitzer's enormous failure is not political, nor simply personal. He suffers from a character flaw that defeated his better angels. He simply couldn't tell the truth, even when a lie wasn't needed. It's as though he didn't know the difference.

It's now obvious his whole life was a lie. This is a man who thundered against illegality and prosecuted prostitution rings, and now has been caught patronizing one.

He needs help. New York does not need him.

If that sounds unduly harsh, consider that Spitzer had, in little more than a year, turned a landslide mandate for reform into a laughingstock. He correctly diagnosed Albany as a cesspool and vowed to clean it up. The Sheriff of Wall Street would bring law and order to the state Capitol.

Only he didn't.

He brought more corruption and sweetheart deals for friends. He talked a good game but, against all odds, he actually made Albany worse.

When you've become a David Letterman punchline, you measure your stay in office in minutes, not days.

In case he tries to wait this out, forget it, he'll be impeached.

Buh-bye, Eliot. It wasn't nice knowing you.

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