Friday, March 14, 2008

Spitzer's Comeuppance Falls Short

By Joseph Kellard

Over in the comments section of a post at Gus Van Horn’s site, Galileo Blogs offered the following insight about Eliot Spitzer that I believe is right on target:

"He was less an enemy of business as such than he was an enemy of particular businessmen whom he felt had opposed or slighted him in some way ... As an example, witness how he had a penchant for personally threatening men such as John Whitehead, the former chairman of Goldman Sachs."

I had noticed this penchant, but was unaware of the depth of Spitzer’s personal vendettas. When Spitzer ran for governor in 2006, I entered the voting booth with an overriding theme: vote against the Republicans. Their actions since the 2004 presidential elections — from George Bush’s rhetoric on the war that proved to be all hot air, to the religionists who showed total disregard for our Constitutional Republic during the Terry Schiavo matter, to the increased “me-too” pragmatism of conservatives on issues such as health care — convinced me that the Republicans were accelerating the rate of pacifism and statism in our nation. And so I voted for the Democrats across the board, no matter who they were, so long as I knew them not to be evil, such as the explicit racist Charles Barron, a former Black Panther who sits on the New York City Council. The only Dem I refused to vote for, however, was Spitzer. He was too dangerous a thug for me to give him any kind of sanction.

Before and after Spitzer’s resignation, I heard some of his Republican opponents praise him for some of his political policies. But given what a wannabe dictator the man was, whatever good policies he may have had (and I don’t know of any), they are essentially irrelevant in the face of his basic, evil nature. So to hear Republicans speak of him, even with just faint praise, confirmed that I made the right choices in 2006 — both in voting against them and refusing to pull the lever for Spitzer.

Meanwhile, I dashed off and sent the letter below to both the New York Post editorial staff and the author of his opinion piece on Spitzer at:

Here is an excerpt from the column:

“Spitzer, as attorney general, was repeatedly accused of improperly threatening Wall Street investment bankers - not to mention their firms and other related businesses, such as insurance - with legal actions if they didn't admit to alleged wrongdoings and pony up hundreds of millions of dollars in fines.

"While few initially doubted the legitimacy of Spitzer's charges, serious questions began to be raised after John Whitehead, the highly regarded former head of Goldman Sachs, wrote an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal describing a harrowing confrontation with a menacing attorney general.”

To the Editor:

Fred Dicker’s piece on Eliot Spitzer (“Bully Gets His Comeuppance,” March 11) further confirmed what a thug the man was -- or is. The problem with Spitzer’s downfall is that [it] happened over a sex scandal and not for the dictatorial behavior he exhibited toward his real or perceived enemies, such as innocent businessmen like John Whitehead.

Joseph Kellard
East Meadow, NY

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Joseph Kellard is a journalist and columnist living in New York.

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