Movie sequels prove that second acts are usually a terrible idea. The clever becomes dross; the dross becomes fetid, and so on and so forth, until all that's left if toxic landfill. What's true of cinema is also true of politics. If you stick around past your expiration date, then you probably stink.
For the past couple of weeks, the rumor mill has been grinding out stories that Elliot Spitzer is planning another run for the governor of New York. I assumed that this was all nonsense until Friday night when I watched Spitzer on Real Time. Bill Maher, the host, didn't make a single crack regarding the prostitute, the money transfers, the resignation or the irony of a man who had cracked down on prostitution as district attorney being revealed as a 'john' himself. The worst name that Spitzer was called was "the former governor." That's when it hit me: he's serious about running again.
For the record, I agree with a lot of Spitzer's positions; I also don't get too exercised about the adultery -- that's a private matter -- or prostitution, which should be legal, taxed and regulated. None of that, however, means that a megalomaniac hypocrite who got caught with his genitals in the cookie jar should seriously consider running again. Stay on the sidelines. Leave it to others to take up the mantle. If you don't want to do it for the public good, then do it for your family who will have to survive rehashing all of all that political pornography.
And then there's Mike Bloomberg, already the two-term mayor of New York. To his mind, the City needs him too much for him to step down. Unfortunately, getting the City Council to lift mayoral term limits allowed them to lift their own. And if there is one thing that America's largest city does not need, it's a mayor and council that can stay in office ad infinitum (or until they get caught for something).
So to the former Governor Spitzer and the current mayor of New York: I plead, "Not Again." (The fact that my entreaties will fall entirely on deaf ears is another subject altogether.) Democracy is the best form of government not because of some mystical ideal but because it brings about regular change and, with it, new blood. In order for that to happen, some of the old warhorses need to step aside. In this case, that means you.
Follow Michael B. Laskoff on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AbilTo