03/11/2008 03:49 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Eliot Spitzer: The Short Goodbye

I can't imagine Eliot Spitzer is not going to resign as governor of New York now that he has been caught in what today's papers are calling a sex ring. (How divine. A sex ring.) The Times has an editorial urging him to leave office on the grounds that he'll be so busy defending himself in this current legal mess that he won't have time to be governor. So it's a done deal, really: he'll be out by noon is my guess. So goodbye. I feel sad. I liked him. It's tragic. Etc.

But having read every word of the indictment, may I suggest that should he stay on, Spitzer will probably have far more time to focus on being governor, in that he won't have to spend hours on the phone with someone named Temeka arguing over his 55 per cent deposit, his in-store credit, the cash limits on bank machine withdrawals in late-night Washington, and ways for Kristen the prostitute to get into her hotel room without her having to give her name at the check-in desk downstairs.

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.

But they shouldn't really. It's one of the things you have to admire about Senator Larry Craig: he's still there. And who can say he's doing a better or worse job than he was before? And compared to whom in the United States Senate?

Which reminds me, New York's Senator Chuck Schumer has been heard from on the question of what is to be done about Eliot Spitzer. He has gone out on a limb to say he is sad for Spitzer's family but he isn't going to comment until Spitzer is more forthcoming. I can only suggest that Schumer has not read the indictment, since there's no way to do so without hoping that there will be nothing more forthcoming.

New York's other Senator also had something to say on the subject yesterday, and it may not surprise you to hear that she somehow managed to make Senator Schumer look brave. "Let's wait and see what comes out over the next few days," Hillary Clinton said.