New York Governor Eliot Spitzer fails the “I’m sorry” test regarding the prostitute.

March 10, 2008 | By | 11 Replies More

Perhaps Elliot Spitzer was really sorry for having sex with a prostitute from the Emperor’s Club, but he failed the I’m sorry Test.  Why?  For two reasons.  Because it wasn’t Spitzer’s turn to apologize and his apology was mis-directed. 

It was George W. Bush’s turn to apologize, I’m fairly certain.   Why do I write this?  Because Bush has done each of the following:

  • Plunged the U.S. into armed combat and an extended occupation of Iraq based on numerous lies.
  • Mismanaged the medical treatment of veterans at Walter Reed.
  • Mishandled Plamegate (Chief of Staff to the Vice President was convicted of perjury).
  • Mishandled Iraq (assuming that we should have been there at all), due to lack of preparation for occupation, looting, including the National Museum, too few troops, lack of training, lack of equipment, lack of securing loose Iraqi munitions, disbanding the Iraqi army . . .
  • Invited no bid contracts in Iraq, including to Halliburton and companies that provide mercenaries with little or no accountability.
  • Encouraged torture, indefinite detention, the end of habeas corpus, and kangaroo courts.
  • Mishandled the political firing of US attorneys.
  • “Heck of a job, Brownie,”
  • Authorized warrantless NSA wiretapping in October 2001.
  • Allowed extraordinary rendition to facilitate interrogation by torture
  • Maintained cozy corrupt relationships with K Street Lobbyists.
  • Allowed Cheney’s Energy Policy and refused to divulge the oil industry participation.
  • Encouraged financially irresponsible cuts for the wealthiest, big corporations.
  • Denied of Global warming and its human causes.
  • Attempted to disband the 911 Commission.
  • Damaged to the US reputation internationally.
  • Led the White House War on Science, against stem cell research, global warming, evolution, research funding, energy, abstinence programs and AIDS prevention.
  • Abu Ghraib & Guantanamo.
  • Attacked Plan B contraception, staffing Women’s Health positions with religious conservatives.
  • Fought for the right to spy on U.S. citizens, including opening US mail.
  • Failed to be accountable for “lost” White House emails.

Bush should also apologize for providing numerous false reasons for the Iraq invasion and occupation: 

1. WMD
2. Saddam Hussein behind 9/11
3. Saddam Hussein connected with al Qaeda
4. Fighting terrorists there so we don’t have to fight them here
5. Spread democracy
6. Saddam Hussein was a bad man
7. Iraqi violations of UN Resolutions
8. The 1993 assassination attempt against GHW Bush
9. Oil
10. Bases
11. Defend Israel
12. Bad intel
[Thanks to Hugh’s Comprehensive Bush Scandal List for it’s comprehensive list of these problems and many others.]

Most of Bush’s wrongful acts and omissions occurred years ago.  Spitzer’s use of a prostitute was rather recent (February of this year).  Therefore, it was Bush’s turn to apologize.  I’m been waiting for a Bush apology for at least five years . . . I’m still waiting.

The second problem is that Elliot Spitzer’s apology was misdirected.  I can understand an apology to his wife, but why apologize to everyone in NY for soliciting a prostitute?   We all know that this was not really an apology but an act of public submission.  It was but a little dance that all politicians do when they have offended the People.  That Spitzer has to get up and do this sort of mea culpa is palpable evidence of the America’s unhealthy obsession with sex.

It’s plainly evident that a person can no longer do the work of a politician in the U.S. unless he or she has the right kind of private sex with the right kind of person.   God help a politician who has an orgasm in private with a person to whom the People of New York haven’t given their stamp of approval.  

Elliot Spitzer had sex, in private, with a woman who wasn’t his wife?  “Gad, how could he possibly be qualified to be governor?” chant all of the holy and moral politicians on the sidelines.  Those protesting “holy” politicians are the ones who feign lots of anger in public while, in the privacy of their homes they lap up the salacious accounts of Elliot’s young and beautiful consensual sex partner; they virtually lick the words off their newspapers as part of the process of working up more faux rage for tomorrow’s press conference.  They practice their horrified expressions in their mirrors, so that they can make it clear to the People how awful it is for two people to have consensual sex where money is exchanged instead of a diamond ring.

Let’s at least be consistent.  If proper sexual practices are really part of the qualifications for being a politician, let’s put “politician sex cams” on all politicians, 24 hours every day.  Let’s make sure that they are all having enough sex, for starters.  Make them all keep sex diaries.  Let’s also make sure that all of our politicians have the right kind of sex—not too conventional and not too wild.  Let the cameras role and then let’s talk mostly about sex at political debates.  That’s apparently what we want, based on the current media feeding frenzy.

Let’s write it into the federal and state constitutions that the People need to be well-informed about the sex practices of all politicians and that our politicians should only engage in proper sex.  If not, we’ll destroy their careers so that some morally pure political hack, the kind that practices only missionary-position-half-dressed-in-the-dark-with-his-spouse sex, can take over and enact the superior kind of government policy that is understood only by those who politicians who practice such “proper sex.”

At future political debates, let’s talk exclusively about the sex lives of our politicians instead of discussing the children who are needlessly dying of diseases or the corrupt contracts to buy ever-bigger conventional weapons that we’ll use to level the last few surviving Iraqi neighborhoods.  Let’s talk about the thrusting and moaning of politicians instead of stopping the torture.  Let’s talk about sex instead of kicking the shit out of huge corrupt blood-sucking corporations, which is what Elliot Spitzer often did, once upon a time.


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Category: American Culture, Politics, Sex, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (11)

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  1. Ebonmuse says:

    As I see it, it's not the sex, it's the hypocrisy: Spitzer took great pains to position himself as the law-and-order governor, and he aggressively prosecuted several prostitution rings himself when he was attorney general. It's the same principle as Republicans who demagogue against gay marriage while seeking out gay sex themselves on the side.

    I think prostitution should be legalized so it can be regulated, but the fact remains that at this time it's illegal. Spitzer knew that quite well, and deliberately broke the law anyway. It's not just hypocritical, it was unbelievably stupid and reckless of him, and I'm bitterly disappointed that he didn't show better judgment. I think he needs to resign, at the very least, if he wants to atone for what he did.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    I didn't realize that Spitzer focused considerable prosecution resources on prostitution rings. In that light, what he did was rampant hypocrisy. You make a good argument for his resignation.

    I'm not convinced the current hype is mostly about the hypocrisy, though. We Americans are obsessed with public figures having sex. It drives substantial amounts of what passes as news.

    What motivates my post is my wish that we'd spend 1% of the passion and energy that we're spending on this Spitzer story covering any of the 10 most critical issues facing this country.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    Nora Ephron, wrote this at Huffpo:

    Meanwhile, Spitzer, who a year ago had a shot at national office, is today a laughingstock because of his reckless involvement in … what? Let's just say this right out: in nothing. He arranged for a date with a hooker and she crossed a state line. This violates something called the Mann Act, which was passed in 1910, before women could vote. It's the legal equivalent of an old chestnut, it seems barely constitutional, and no one with half a brain could possibly think of it as anything worth prosecuting anyone for. Although Eliot Spitzer might. This is the problem these guys get into: they're so morally rigid and puritanical in real life (and on some level, so responsible for this priggish world we now live in) that when they get caught committing victimless crimes, everyone thinks they should be punished for sheer hypocrisy.

  4. Mary says:

    I'm still waiting for Bush to apologize, too.

  5. No surprise here with this breaking news story. Very often the thing that someone detests most violently and crusades against is the very thing that tortures them. Marion Barry and drugs comes to mind. Jimmy Swaggart and his prostitute.

    Who better to know the evils of a vice than someone who is himself a captive of it? If you know human nature you should know that the person who accuses everyone else of stealing is the thief.

  6. Corporal C for Consu says:

    Add a few other things to the list re: that Bush should apologize for: giving support, or at least being indifferent to, coups across the world:

    Or just this last week, vetoing a bill that would have banned waterboarding:

    Or failing to recognize the legitimacy of the International Criminal Court:

    (Note: The U.S. is one of only seven states – along with Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Qatar, China, and Israel – to vote against the Rome Statute creating the Court).

    This Administration's disregard of international law is not only heartbreaking, but dangerously setting international jurisprudence back to a time prior to the implementation of nearly universally accepted treaties such as the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture, a time of the darker ages of international law when leaders/individuals who encouraged and committed torture and other crimes could escape the realm of universal jurisdiction and accountability for their actions.

  7. Erich Vieth says:

    Glenn Greenwald weighs in, tongue in cheek, at

    * All decent people agree that what Eliot Spitzer did is repulsive, morally disgusting and totally nauseating — which is why it's so important to learn about and report on every last titillating detail about what he did, the kind of sex he had, with whom he had it, how many times he had it, and what his partners looked like — because it's all so completely appalling that it's critical that we stay fully informed.

    * Governors who hire adult prostitutes must resign immediately lest the public trust be forever sullied. Presidents who break the law by spying on Americans with no warrants, who torture people in violation of multiple treaties and statutes, who start hideously destructive wars based on false pretenses, who repeatedly proclaim the power to ignore laws, and who imprison people — including Americans — with no charges of any kind, should remain in office for as long as they want. Anyone who suggests otherwise is an irresponsible, shrill, partisan radical.

  8. I'm afraid Spitzer shot himself in the reputation and the apology is appropriate. We might like to think his use of a prostitute is a private matter, but for this: IT'S ILLEGAL.

    Do I think it should be? No. But it is. And Spitzer has been a law and order pit bull—and the great hope of NY democrats.

    Those here in St. Louis ought to remember George Peach, a local prosecutor who made a HUGE deal out of ridding St. Louis city of pornography, and then got nailed by an undercover cop in the county for soliciting prostitution. It wasn't the sex, it was the double standard.

    Spitzer has also let down the Democratic Party because he had been such a forceful and effective voice in a state that has been in Republican hands for some time.

    If you're gonna run on a straight arrow platform, you better tow the line. It doesn't matter if the line being towed is occasionally feckless and stupid. Spitzer screwed up. (pun intended.)

  9. I wanted to say the same as Ebonmuse and Mark, he's a hypocrite. Although the interest of the public does seem to be focused on hypocrites that have extramarital sex while hypocrites in any other field seem to face less severe consequences from the public.

  10. Erich Vieth says:

    On a related note:

    While New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was paying an ‘escort’ $4,300 in a hotel room in Washington, just down the road, George Bush’s new Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke, was secretly handing over $200 billion in a tryst with mortgage bank industry speculators.

    Both acts were wanton, wicked and lewd.

    For the full post . . .

  11. Erich Vieth says:

    There's no need to argue whether the commotion is about the hypocrisy or the sex. It's obviously about both. Here's new evidence that it's certainly (to a large extent) about the sex:

    But media interest in Dupre still swirled. Hustler Publisher Larry Flynt told the AP Friday that he had e-mailed Dupre, offering her $1 million to pose nude for his magazine. He said he hadn't heard back.

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