New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer spends thousands of dollars on prostitutes? What is wrong with him? Hasn't he ever heard of interns?
If you have an affair with an intern and get caught, you get to hold on to your job, and years later, millions of people still look upon you as a hero.
But paying for sex? That crosses the line.
To paraphrase an old joke, if stupidity ever gets to $200 a barrel, I want drilling rights to Eliot Spitzer's head.
Spitzer, a former big-deal prosecutor, gets caught using e-mails, text messages and phone calls to arrange sex with a prostitute.
E-mails, text messages and phone calls? Has Spitzer never seen "The Wire"? Why didn't he just rent a billboard in Times Square? Or start a reality show called "Governors Gone Wild"?
Doesn't Spitzer know that electronic communication offers only the illusion of privacy? He should. He used electronic surveillance to catch people for years.
And look at how much money he spent! At the very least, New Yorkers should be relieved they are getting rid of one of the least fiscally responsible governors ever. Spitzer is accused of spending $4,300 for 2 1/2 hours with a hooker in Washington.
I have never gone to a prostitute, but for me to pay that kind of money, she would have to be offering frequent flyer miles.
And why was a prostitute necessary? Has Spitzer never heard of bars? I hear people sometimes buy a few drinks and go home together even if they are not married. And even with drink prices being what they are (appletinis are not cheap), the tab rarely reaches $4,300.
Spitzer is just another in a long line of holier-than-thou politicians who turned out to be holier than nobody.
As to the legal case against him, it is probably as thin as most prostitution cases are.
If you call prostitution a "victimless" crime, a lot of people get upset and point out how some people are forced into sex slavery and that prostitution feeds organized crime.
Both are true, but in the vast majority of cases, prostitution is not prosecuted. It is only when prostitutes congregate in neighborhoods where citizens complain that the police "roust" them.
These rousts are designed to harass the hookers and move them along. Customers are rarely arrested. When they are, the charges are meant to embarrass. Few cases ever go to court.
Spitzer's true crime, of course, is hypocrisy. He is a man who has prosecuted others for what he now has allegedly done himself.
And while accusing politicians of hypocrisy is like finding out there is gambling in Casablanca "I am shocked, shocked!" you can see why so many people are happy about his fall.
The more puffed up and pompous the politician, the more delightful to see the air rush out of the balloon.
Why do people like Spitzer take such risks? I think it is the delusion that power makes them invulnerable. The opposite is true, of course. Power makes them more scrutinized.
That said, Spitzer's behavior was completely loony. Even if he never imagined being caught by law enforcement, didn't he ever worry about blackmail? Did he never imagine that one of the prostitutes might try to sell her story to a supermarket tabloid or start a blog?
Lord Acton once famously observed: "Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely."
It also seems to make you an absolute idiot.
As I said, prostitution does have victims. Spitzer's wife, Silda, is one of them. And, once again, we see a brave but shattered wife standing next to her husband as he admits infidelity. I completely understand why Silda Spitzer did that. After all, she has three teenage daughters to think about.
But just once, I'd like to see a victimized wife say: "Stand by him? The next time I stand by this creep, it will be to pull a Lorena Bobbitt."