Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spitzer: Demonized? Demonizer? Or Someone Who Simply Got What He Deserved?

Is former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer a victim of demonization and/or was he someone who sometimes demonized others? Or did he simply get what he deserved?

"What goes around comes around?"

One Daily Demonizer reader said: "On the one hand he is a victim of demonization, on the other there he was a demonizer himself. Not that corporate crime is not real, but often for him it seemed to be a matter of evil people with little consideration by him of a system and a kind of corporate ethos that promoted such behavior. An editor of the Village Voice on CNN today quoted a line Spitzer apparently said to a target of investigation when encountering him at a convention to the effect he looked forward to driving a spike through his heart."

For two views that suggest he is a simple victim of dmonization, pure and simple, see articles on:

Republican Dirty Tricks: "Was Spitzer Targeted?" by Paul Campos.

Prostitution is not relevant to public duties and responsibilities: "Spitzer’s Shame Is Wall Street’s Gain" by Robert Scheer.

In decidding whether Spitzer was demonized, however, at least two critical counter-issues should be considered.

1. Political hypocrisy may not be grounds for impeachment but it is certainly fair game for very strong criticism. Whatever the morality and legality of what he did, was he simply a hypocrite in the way he prosecuted others for crimes, including sex traficking that he also took part in? To get at this question we need also to ask: was the kind of sex trafficking he prosecuted different in kind from the kind he used? For commentary relevant to these questions see: "Foes of Sex Trade Are Stung by Fall of an Ally."

2. Should we consider prostitution and involvement with the prostitution industry simply another example of sex between "consenting" adults that therefore should be a purely private matter? On issues relevant to this point, see: "The Myth of the Victimless Crime" by Melissa Farley and Victor Malarek.

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