Democratic Gov. Elliot Spitzer of New York, who once prosecuted a high-end prostitution ring as Attorney General, has apparently been uncovered as a customer of one as well. “Sources” expect his resignation is imminent.
Of course, we do not yet know the details of the investigation, or whether Spitzer is legally guilty of anything more than the misdemeanor of hiring a prostitute (if that), so I’m not prepared to comment on whether he should or should not resign. I am, however, deeply disappointed in Spitzer, who I had viewed as a rising Democratic star.
That said, I would like to take a moment to comment on the difference between the way Democrats and Republicans (the “family values” party) react to sex scandals. Spitzer has immediately come forward with a personal and public apology, but that hasn’t halted a wave of demands for his resignation from progressive bloggers, legacy media types and fellow Democrats. Meanwhile, Republicans Larry Craig (soliciting sex in a men’s room) and David Vitter (diaper-wearing john) both still serve in the US Senate, while former Rep. Mark Foley’s Republican colleagues covered up his sexual predation for years, leaving House pages at risk. Republicans Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain all infamously engaged in adulterous affairs without apparent harm to their political careers… while Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about a blowjob.
If Democrats want to demand higher personal standards from our own politicians than Republicans obviously demand of their’s, well, that’s up to us. No doubt Spitzer has admitted to a supreme act of hypocrisy. But if Republicans and the “objective” and “impartial” media want to join in and demand Spitzer’s resignation, they better demand the resignation of Sen. Vitter as well, lest they be branded equally hypocritical.