First, I don't think it was a matter of "gremlins" that lured former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer to become Client 9 with $4K-a-night trollop, Ashley Dupre. No, not gremlins. Demons, maybe. Testosterone perhaps. Satyriasis is my uneducated guess. Gremlins?!
There are no excuses," he said. "I have tried to address these gremlins [e.s.] and confront them. What I did was an egregious violation of trust to my family, to colleagues, to the state, and I paid a price and appropriately so.
Thus spoke Eliot in the New York Daily News today. A gremlin is defined as (1) a mischievous invisible being, said by airplane pilots in World War II to cause engine trouble and mechanical difficulties or (2) any cause of trouble, difficulties, etc. No, methinks he means demon, an evil passion or influence. Anyhoo . . . I think we know what the initial motivation was for his assignation. Lubricity is not a head-scratcher. (Insert your own pun here.)
Look, let's get back to Eliot Spitzer, who's bravely trying to reinvent himself in his previous image, the Sheriff of Wall Street. And why not? He's skilled and adept anent the subject and is most conversant with what investigations do and should entail. As for his prior marital indiscretion(s), who cares? That's between his wife and family and him. He resigned his office that he always aspired to. He was humiliated and shamed. If you want to talk about the face of absolute evil, I've got two words for you: Bernie Madoff.
We have the collective memories of gnats and will forget it all, especially after the next scandal happens . . . not with Spitzer, but whomever. Scandals mean nothing nor does hypocrisy. Can you say Rush Limbaugh? He called for the warehousing of drug traffickers and then trafficked in Oxycontin (known to many as Hillbilly Heroin) in Florida. He thought the overdose of Jerry Garcia was quite funny.
Oh, yeah, trafficking. Florida Statutes §893.135(1)(c) provides in part as follows. And check out the last provision calling for a 25 year minimum mandatory.
(c)1. Any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 4 grams or more of any morphine, opium, oxycodone [e.s.], hydrocodone, hydromorphone, . . . or 4 grams or more of any mixture containing any such substance, but less than 30 kilograms of such substance or mixture, commits a felony of the first degree, which felony shall be known as "trafficking in illegal drugs," punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. If the quantity involved:
a. Is 4 grams or more, but less than 14 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.
b. Is 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.
c. Is 28 grams or more, but less than 30 kilograms, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 25 calendar years and pay a fine of $500,000.
But that's just drug trafficking. As for sexual high jinks, let's mention other names, shall we. They all have something in common. The following is a roster of prominent Republican politicians, commentators and pundits who've hit a proverbial pothole or two by exhibiting behavior that's not exactly consonant with family values, values they've purportedly advanced and advocated for us all.
* Vito Fossella
* Larry Craig
* Richard Curtis
* Mark Foley
* Jim Gibbons
* Ted Haggard
* Jeff Miller
* Don Sherwood
* Jim West
* Jeff Gannon
* Ed Schrock
* Neil Bush
* Dan Burton
* Dan Crane
* Henry Hyde
* Newt Gingrich
* Strom Thurmond
And, oh yes, I almost forgot . . . Ted Bundy. The Daily Kos has an incredible roster and Republican scandal compendium, a veritable moral values hypocrite Hall of Fame that is nothing short of mind-boggling.
So, the bottom line, Mr. Spitzer. Through a process of habituation and generalization, we, the public, have become inured to scandal of every stripe. No arena has been spared its own blemish and moral hiccup. Sports, entertainment, politics, the clergy -- name it. That nerve ending, our collective sensory component that fires in reaction to scandal has been anesthetized. You go ahead, provide great commentary and perspective from your unique experience and all will be forgotten. Not forgiven, but literally forgotten.
As for those gremlins . . .