eliot spitzer’s recent alleged dalliance with high-priced prostitutes is just one more disappointment in the world of male leaders, but not a surprise. whether you’re bill clinton with an intern in the oval office, wilbur mills with a stripper in the tidal basin, newt gingrich divorcing his wife by her hospital bedside, or even jim bakker with a church secretary G-d-knows-where, men in power have an abysmal history of being infantile idiots who think they can’t get caught with their hands in the cookie jar, democrats and republicans alike. i even remember rumors of george bush senior having a certain special someone; somehow, that didn’t get much press, though. (wonder why?) it isn’t just politicians, as i pointed out above; it’s just that we hear mostly about the politicians when they’re in trouble. the opposing party of the problem child makes good and well sure of that.
i often joke that living in washington, dc, is like living in the land of former high school student council presidents. smart, nerdy and shrewd, they couldn’t land the cheerleaders in high school. so they come here, and they land usually-smart girls who appreciate a smart guy. only, too bad for the women, since the guys, finally landing a date (or a lay), see that there are other mountains to conquer (so to speak.) they can’t help themselves: they feel like they finally are getting their day in the sun.
unfortunately, they look for this day in the sun after they’ve put a ring on someone else’s finger. cos they’re all about doing the right thing. or having the right image, anyway.
so why would someone with a reputation for corruption-fighting go and throw it all away? what does $5,500 an hour buy? it buys cachet: the i got ice cream, you can’t have it effect (mature language for those listening at work). the same guy who didn’t have a date for the prom, the same guy who didn’t get laid until he was in his 20s, the same guy who probably got beat up one too many times for being a dweeb — now he can have things those morons back home can’t have.
unfortunately, spitzer went beyond the immoral — he went illegal. frankly, i don’t care what politicians do in their personal lives, as long as they don’t break the law. but he did.
i wonder sometimes whether women in power do these similar things. are they tempered by their experiences so that they don’t want to be bothered with extracurricular activities? are they too intelligent or moral for that? or are they smart enough not to get caught with their trousers down?
i know i ought not be surprised by this latest info. but i am still very, very disappointed. calling spitzers literary agent — time for spitzer’s political memoirs: smart men, stupid choices.