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The Spitting of Spitzer

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Message Peter Barus
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Call me cynical. I have a problem with the Spitzer story. It's just too perfect.

Maybe, as we are expected to believe, Eliot Spitzer finally caved in to the blandishments of Power. Maybe this young, virile Governor of the State of New York with everything going for him suddenly purchased the services of expensive prostitutes, right smack-dab in the heart of Washington, D.C., where every hotel room is bugged by seventeen foreign governments in addition to the CIA, the FBI and Bob Woodward... with the cream of American Trophy Wife Pageant winners swooning at his feet and young law graduates vying to be his deciple in the town where a Mayor was busted for crack on videotape, and a President was recorded abusing the public trust. Sure, that's it; an experienced prosecutor like that, from New York City no less, the first thing he'd do when he got to the Nation's Capital would be to ask a taxi driver.. yeah, that's certainly plausible.

Nah. A guy who is that smart couldn't possibly act so dumb. It has to be a very expensive and professional setup. Remember that we live in a world where the male line of the Kennedy family has been all but genetically erased from Earth by a series of tragedies that many involved say were not exactly accidents. I think Bill Bonnano has told it this way in a book about his father, Joe "Bannanas" Bonnano and his old arch-rival Joseph P. Kennedy: it happened because of Joe Kennedy's stroke on the eve of Jack's Mafia-engineered election, which left the old man unable to keep his promise to Lanskey or Bonnano or Somebody to stop the appointment of Bobby as AG, which brought down the Biblical wrath of the organized criminal underworld on Joe Kennedy's progeny to the seventh generation or some such ancient curse. That world is no longer so "under" as it was then, and is now much more organized and criminal than ever.

There has not been a whisper about what Spitzer was so hated for in the halls of power; how he investigated and prosecuted the powerful when it was clearly not a smart career move. That would be saved for the obit, and the idea of Spitzer as a martyr must have occurred to his executioners. They certainly didn't want him to die fighting the good fight. The Inquisition requires you to eat your words. You're lucky if they aren't inscribed on molten steel first. In witch-trial ordeals, if you drowned, you were innocent after all. Oops.

If you don't buy the opera about the pressures of power finally overwhelming a weak man (who had somehow become Governor of New York!), the past year's out-and-out feud between him and State Senator Bruno (elected in 1976), would be a good place to start looking for the roots of this successful coup. Bruno, a moss-covered institution of the Republican political machine, was investigated by Spitzer for flamboyant abuse of his office. This was really ripe, low-hanging fruit, as they say, and it kept local NPR talk show lines lit up for months. But instead of issuing denials and lawyering-up and finding he needed more time with his family, Bruno nearly un-seated the sitting Governor by claiming that the investigation was a politically-motivated vendetta by a mad-dog ex-prosecutor run amok in the Governor's Mansion. Bruno actually seemed to enjoy it. When the dust cleared, Bruno was still in the same seat, his tie unrumpled. Spitzer's polls were plummeting into the bottomless unpopularity void. But he was still Governor.

It won't wash. Spitzer bit off a lot more than anybody could could chew, from a lot of very corpulent posteriors, and got treated rather gently, all things considered, by the Powers That Be. This is but one more high water mark in the rising tide of fascism that finally overwhelmed America.
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I'm an old Pogo fan. For some unknown reason I persist in outrage at Feudalism, as if human beings can do much better than this. Our old ways of life are obsolete and are killing us. Will the human race wake up in time? Stay (more...)

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