Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The NYT on Spitzer

Well, it's all over the news now. New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has fallen. And fallen kinda hard. I watched last night as they played the tape of his apology over and over again on the news and I thought, "Wow. That's an interesting apology... he says he betrayed his family in a private matter... and he said that politics is about big ideas, not about individuals - basically making the statement that anything he has personally done wrong is pretty much irrelevant since he has some 'big ideas.'" Then I was ready, willing and able to go on with life as usual -- not needing to wallow in the sexual deviancy of another leader.

But this morning I was reading my daily dose of the New York Times and there was not only one article on the matter, but three. Apparently they're a bit ticked off. And not only were there multiple news articles regarding the issue, but they dedicated an editorial to it as well. And that is what got me going this morning.

First of all, it's so rare that I agree with the NYT on anything, I always think it needs to be recorded somewhere when I do. And I agree with them that Eliot Spitzer was wrong in saying that he had only betrayed his family in a private matter. When you're in a position of leadership, a betrayal of your family by breaking the law is a betrayal of the public as well. You are breaking the laws that you are sworn to uphold. I also agree with the NYT in that he was wrong in stating that politics is about only big ideas and not about individuals. The "big ideas" that one has tend to get overshadowed by the bad behavior of the person putting them forward. 

So you have to picture me - ME... certainly not a fan of the NYT, just blown away that I agree with the first few paragraphs of an editorial of theirs. Because certainly Spitzer is one of their own. He's a big government guy... the types of reform he talks about are things near and dear to the NYT's heart. Amazing that they would be seeing so clearly to write paragraph after paragraph that I can agree with!! But, alas... the editorial began to deteriorate somewhere towards the middle. And in these few paragraphs, the NYT editorial board tells more about their values and actions than the values and actions they imagine others to have.

A further tragedy here, beyond the personal one of the Spitzer family and the damage he has done to the reform cause, is that Mr. Spitzer's targets are now relishing their tormentor's torment. Those on Wall Street who fumed at having to make their world fairer for ordinary shareholders can now chortle with satisfaction in their private enclaves. For New York Republicans, who have blocked some of the most important reforms in Albany, it is hard to imagine the private glee - especially at a moment when they are fighting desperately to hold their majority in the State Senate.

What a statement that makes about the reaction of the people who sit on the New York Times editorial board whenever there is a Republican caught up in some wrongdoing. I guess there must be some relishing and chortling going on behind those closed doors... perhaps a moment or two of "private glee." Well, no... the glee is never all that private, as it usually comes out in the writing of the board. 

Regardless, I think it's incredibly sad that yet another politician has betrayed his family's trust and the public's trust - and that yet another politician appears to have not a clue about ethics and morality. It doesn't matter whether there's an (R) or a (D) after the person's name. The lack of ethics and morality is rampant. You'd almost think they were a bunch of human beings with power - getting high on it - or something. 

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