am a farmer more concerned with yellow corn and soya prices than most things in the world. Mine is the usual parochial (and often bigoted) mind set of those who struggle to till the soil and raise animals for a living. My world view, because of so many limitations, has a geographical span of a few kilometers.
Yet, I can’t help but cheer two recent developments in a far city, New York, where two disgraced figures (two sex deviants, to be specific), former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, are seeking political redemption.
Spitzer, once believed to be a Democratic presidential material, wants to be comptroller of New York City. Weiner, a former congressman with so much promise and connections (one of them to the country’s political royalty the Clintons), wants to replace Michael Bloomberg as New York City mayor.
My nightly prayer is that they both win, and win in a big way.
Spitzer resigned the governorship of New York in 2008 after getting ensnared in a prostitution scandal. He first attracted national attention as New York’s attorney general, a post he used as an effective platform to curb the abuses of Wall Street.
Spitzer sued and disciplined the country’s major financial firms for their patently illegal but hard-to-pin-down practices.
While he earned the enmity of the American plutocracy, Spitzer was hailed by the popular media as the “Sheriff of Wall Street.” He filed cases against AIG, sued the former chairman of the New York Stock Exchange over excessive compensation, and pushed hard on while collar crimes, Internet fraud and securities fraud.
But hubris soon caught up with Spitzer. He was found to be a regular patron of a high-priced prostitution ring called Emperors Club VIP. According to reports, Spitzer spent some $80,000 over a period of several years for trysts with prostitutes. To avoid an impeachment, Spitzer resigned the governorship on May 12, 2008, a development widely cheered at Wall Street but caused grief at certain quarters of the Democratic political establishment.
After his hard fall, the Harvard-trained Spitzer turned to punditry. He wrote for Slate and had stints at CNN and Current TV. All that time, he was plotting a comeback.
Punditry and involvement in the family-owned real estate business (his dad is one of New York City’s real estate tycoons) probably bored him to death.
Anthony Weiner does not have either the stellar Princeton-Harvard academic preparation of Spitzer or the disgraced governor’s intellectual range. He trained at a state university, the SUNY in Plattsburgh, where he earned his BA. His route to politics was a very traditional one: serving as aide to Rep. Chuck Schumer before he went into politics himself. Schumer is now a US senator.
From the City Council of New York, Weiner represented the 9th district, a traditionally Democratic district of New York state, which Schumer himself held before getting elected senator. He stood for liberal causes and middle-class issues. On foreign policy, he was, as expected, supportive of policies that promoted Jewish causes.
As was the case of Spitzer, personal indiscretion doomed Weiner. On May 27, 2011, he used his public Twitter account to send a link of a sexually suggestive photo of himself to a woman who followed him on Twitter. He initially denied he was the man in the picture. But after days of denial, Weiner admitted his guilt and said that over a period of three years, six such photos had been sent to other women.
He announced his resignation on June 16, 2011, and the backlash of the sexting scandal led to the election of a Republican, Bob Turner, in a special election held to replace him.
New York City, one of the most liberal cities in the US, has voters that seem to be inclined to forget the transgressions of the two Jewish politicians. Both are leading their rivals in the Democratic primaries. While New York occasionally elects Republicans to office, the norm is that the elections are determined by the results of the Democratic primaries.
Weiner has a slight lead over Christine Quinn in the Democratic primaries. Quinn was the frontrunner before Weiner made his surprise announcement.
Spitzer, likewise, leads his rival in the Democratic primary, Manhattan Borough president Scot Stringer, according to the last poll.
There would be no greater humiliation for the morality police in New York, in our country and across the democratic world than a victory of two sexual deviants on a quest for a second political lease of life.
Redemption sought, redemption granted. What can be sweeter than that?
Bill Clinton has sexual deviancy in his pathology. But he steered his country to jobs and growth and budget surpluses. He was full of moral failings, but that did not stop him from taxing the rich, empowering the middle class, and leading his country to unprecedented postwar economic stability. His successor was a “family values” man who fought two unfunded wars, squandered Clinton-era surpluses, and nearly brought the US into another Great Depression.
Governance is not a morality play and wife-cheaters and sexual deviants are often better at governing that the self-proclaimed moral man. Another thing, just looking at the gorgeous Huma Abedin would make you vote for Weiner.