Bloggers weigh in on Eliot Spitzer’s resignation and Geraldine Ferraro’s refusal to apologize for inflammatory comments about Barack Obama.
B.S. Eliot: New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned Wednesday amid the turmoil over his involvement with a prostitution ring. He’ll leave office Monday. The blogosphere was characteristically unsympathetic.
Jim Newell at Wonkette wonders what Spitzer’s wife, Silda, was thinking during the press conference. “Here’s our friendly New York Governor Eliot Spitzer resigning, with his wife, who still really doesn’t want to be there. … Maybe Silda just wanted to make him look like more of a wretch, and she did a good job of that.” Over at Ankle Biting Pundits, conservative Bull Dog Pundit focuses on Mr. Spitzer: “It’s all about him, what he did for the state, and what he plans to do later, and oh yeah, an apology for his ‘private failings,’ and lamenting ‘what could have been.’ What a contemptable, egomaniacal, jackass. He deserves all the scorn, embarrassment, humiliation, and hopefully criminal consequences that come his way.”
Citing Henry David Thoreau, Bill Maher offers a lukewarm defense on Huffington Post: “It’s easy to point fingers, but how about some recognition that society’s rules are so at odds with human nature that there are actually no good options for an Eliot Spitzer, and the ZILLIONS OF PEOPLE JUST LIKE HIM, many of who are tut-tut-ing today. I guess a guy is a hero who sticks it out and leads a life of quiet desperation.”
But Megan McArdle’s not feeling the sympathy: “I think ‘structuring’ and ‘money-laundering’ charges are repugnant. The Mann act is garbage. Prostitution, drugs, and arranging homosexual liasons should be legal, though the airports have a perfect right–and good reason–to keep it out of the restrooms. But Eliot Spitzer was caught doing something that, regardless of its moral status, is in fact illegal, and which, moreover, he was more than happy to prosecute others for engaging in.”
Samantha Sault, posting on Weekly Standard’s Blog, predicts we’ll see more of the soon-to-be-former gov: “Spitzer is a rapaciously ambitious guy. Remember, this is a fellow who without remorse persecuted innocent people to further his ambitions. Such a man isn’t going to abandon his dreams just because he had a rough week. He’s more likely to focus every fiber of his being on a comeback, however implausible such a thing may seem at this hour.”
Courtney Martin of Feministing wonders if sexual mishaps like Spitzer’s would occur with women in office: “And now this. I have to admit that though I just publicly came out as an Obama supporter, this news gave me one of those gross feelings in my gut and I found myself wondering: Would we all be better off with a woman in office, in part, because she would be less likely to get involved in these kinds of scandals?”
Fuel to the fire: Geraldine Ferraro, the 1984 Democratic vice presidential candidate and a Hillary Clinton supporter, reignited claims of racist conduct by Clinton’s campaign when she said, “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position.”
At Too Hot for TNR, journalist Spencer Ackerman mocks Ferraro’s statements. “Often times, I think to myself: God, I’m so disadvantaged by not being black in America! It’s like you can’t even find work in the media as a Jew these days. Everywhere you go, the country just yields more and more African-Americans in positions of power, prestige and responsibility and builds prisons and blighted schools and substandard levees for white people.”
DHinMI at Daily Kos, on the other hand, worries that these attacks may be more effective than some would like to admit, pointing out that the fear of black favoritism was a very real concern that spurred some Democrats to jump ship in 1980. “The fact is, there are a lot of White people in American who believe they’re at a disadvantage, that Blacks get things handed to them. … It’s not a fringe belief. It’s at the heart of the belief system of the so-called Reagan Democrats—swing voters and even some Democrats who were cradle Democrats but defected to Reagan and have been up for grabs in most elections since 1992.”
Jonathan Kay at the National Post’s Full Comment defends Ferraro. “But optics and political strategy aside, I’m having a hard time disagreeing with the substance of Ferraro’s remarks. The fact is, she’s right. … One final point: Though I’ve never been a huge fan of Ferraro, I really admire the manner in which she’s sticking to her guns on this issue — instead of publishing some touchy-feely apology,” he writes. Vodka Pundit Stephen Green forecasts more pointed attacks from both sides in the lead up to Pennsylvania: “Ferraro made remarks to the effect that Obama wouldn’t be where he is today if he weren’t black. When confronted, she reiterated. If you think conservative Republicans hate John McCain, wait’ll you see just how much left-of-center Democrats hate slightly-more-left-of-center Democrats. You ain’t seen nothin’ till you see what happens in the run-up to Pennsylvania.”
Andrew Romano of Stumper points out that the recent row over race is most detrimental to the voters: “The sad part is that the day started out on a substantive note, with Team Obama questioning Clinton’s foreign-policy cred and the Clinton camp delivering a serious, factual rebuttal. International experience is a crucial question, and voters deserve to hear the candidates debate. But once race and gender enter the equation, the cable channels swarm, the pundits sharpen their knives–and the campaigns play along.”
Read more about the Ferraro flap.