Hubris

Mar. 11th, 2008 09:49 am
slyvermont: (Default)
[personal profile] slyvermont
When I walked into the health club yesterday and saw the CNN breaking news was that Eliot Spitzer was linked to a prostitution ring, I stopped short and just stared. First I wondered if it was April 1. Then I wondered if The Onion had taken over CNN. There was no way, no way that could be true.

Well, it’s true. And according to the escort service, he liked kinky sex. Ewww.

Hubris. Bites you in the butt again.

How could he be so stupid? And how could he drag his wife in front of the cameras? His wife standing beside him with her puffy eyes and shell-shocked look was what bothered me the most.

I told Rich last night that if he ever got caught like that, I wouldn’t face the press with him.

At least he didn’t drag his daughters out.

Can he survive this? I don’t know. NY finally gets a Democratic governor, and look what he does. I just can’t get over how stupid this man is. What is it about sex that makes men do these incredibly stupid things?

So, say you’re the governor, your wife won’t do kinky sex, and you have needs. What do you do? What’s the least damaging way to satisfy the urge (besides a cold shower)? Is there anything he could have done that wouldn’t have gotten him in trouble? We’ve already figured out from Clinton that hooking up with an intern isn’t the best solution – although, Bill managed to survive that. So, if Clinton can survive Monica, can Spitzer survive this? Should he?

And poor Hillary (read that with some sarcasm). Spitzer was one of her supporters. She doesn’t want to lose a superdelegate, but supporting Spitzer now would not be a good thing. What’s Bill Clinton’s wife supposed to do?

Date: 2008-03-11 02:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maiasaura.livejournal.com
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. And, as you say, the ultimate in hypocrisy. I just can't help comparing it to the Europeans and even Rep. Charlie Wilson, who was certainly a pig in his own unique way. But, he was always honest about the fact that he liked women and booze. Never hid it. Never lied about it. And his voters forgave him, year after year.

Yep, in this one, I'll quote Tom DeLay of all people after Monica Lewinsky, "If I did that, I'd be on the floor, bleeding my life out, with my wife standing over me with a shotgun asking, 'How do I reload this thing?'"

This is also part of an ongoing gulf, I think, between men and women. I just don't get it. I will never get it. And with the risk to yourself, your career, your family? Would a woman ever pay $4,000 for this sort of thing? I don't think so. (A man would say, "well, but she's never been with ME! yeah, right.) What would that kind of money get you -- 2 weeks in the Carribean. Some good quality investment advice. A week at a high end spa. A really nice piece of jewelry. Unbelievably stupid from the man who was "Mr. Clean Sweep."

Date: 2008-03-11 05:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nmissi.livejournal.com
This is also part of an ongoing gulf, I think, between men and women. I just don't get it. I will never get it. And with the risk to yourself, your career, your family? Would a woman ever pay $4,000 for this sort of thing? I don't think so. (A man would say, "well, but she's never been with ME! yeah, right.) What would that kind of money get you -- 2 weeks in the Carribean. Some good quality investment advice. A week at a high end spa. A really nice piece of jewelry.

You're assuming he thought it was a huge risk, or the cost was exorbitant. For men like this, I think both of those assumptions are debatable. He probably hires other personal services with similarly-high price tags per hour (masseuses, stylists, vocal coaches, whatever)and to his mind, a whore is like a weekend spa trip. It's all about pampering himself, rewarding himself for the "good job" he does the rest of the time. A lot of men have that mindset: it's not so much the thrill of the forbidden, or temptation- it's the old-fashioned idea that "I work hard for a living and I'm entitled to more than ordinary men are." He may not even have viewed a whore as infidelity: No love relationship, no attachment, just services provided.

But you're so right that he's gonna cry "sex addict" and go find jesus in rehab. Just once I'd like to see a politician who gets caught with his pants down and owns it. "Yeah, I'm a cheating lowlife and my wife has always known this about me, and I'm not gonna change." He'd never get elected again but it would be Such a breath of Fresh Air.

Date: 2008-03-11 09:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slyvermont.livejournal.com
Well, he's Jewish so I doubt he'll find Jesus.

I thought this was an interesting analysis from a NY Times story:

Dr. Frank Farley, a psychologist at Temple University, said that many politicians are what he calls Type T personalities, with T standing for thrill-seeking. “Politics is an uncertain business,” he said. “You’re at the whim of the electorate. There’s no tenure. It’s often hard to know what the criteria for success are. It’s either all or nothing — you either win or you lose. And so it inspires a risk-taking person to go into that line of work. But on the public side, they’re supposed to show stability and responsibility, and so this risky nature may show itself more on the private side.”

Despite the intensified scrutiny of politicians in recent times, and the ongoing parade of those who do get caught, Dr. Farley said public officials keep acting recklessly because their nature is hard to restrain. “It’s deep,” he said. “It’s very hard to throttle back.”
---

I'll bet when he first started seeing prostitutes, he was turned on by the risk. I'm sure that faded when he kept getting away with it. I'm sure he was partly motivated by the "I'm smarter than everyone else so no one will catch me" mentality. But he was just so stupid.

Date: 2008-03-11 02:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rosiewook.livejournal.com
I don't get how these shamed men think it's of some sort of benefit to have the wife up there with them. I was wondering how he didn't automatically think through what happened in the aftermath of the New Jersey governor's incident. His now-ex-wife just skewered him for pressuring her into going up there. When this wife gets over the shell-shock and gets pissed? Look out!

We all know that the wife is devestated if she doesn't show up with him. Do we need to see it? It doesn't make me feel any better about what he did to see her standing by his side.

Let her stay home and cry. Let her release some statement about how they're going to try and work things out, or whatever. Just don't make us watch the farce.

Date: 2008-03-11 02:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maiasaura.livejournal.com
Followed then by his statement, "I'm entering rehab for my problems with [pain pills, booze, sex addiction]." Followed then by the epiphany that His personal Savior is found in Rehab. Followed then by the book deal and made for TV movie on the Fox network.

Date: 2008-03-11 09:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slyvermont.livejournal.com
Somehow, I find it hard to believe that Eliot Spitzer's story would ever end up on Fox. Maybe Lifetime.

Date: 2008-03-11 03:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] julietvalcouer.livejournal.com
Ah, schadenfreude. (Not you, Hillary, Spitzer, et al.) I view this as payback for all the times Democrats have accused Republicans of being hypocrites (most notably in going after Rudy Guliani for his marital issues.) Nice to see their most sanctimonious prat get his.

I never understand why the wives get up there at all. I'd have been like "I don't care if you have 'needs.' No one *needs* kinky sex or sex twenty-four seven (or whatever Bill's issue is.) Go to a prostitute, risk getting God-knows-what and passing it to me, and expect me to play the political wife? You're on your own for this one. See you in court."

Date: 2008-03-11 05:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nmissi.livejournal.com
I never understand why the wives get up there at all. I'd have been like "I don't care if you have 'needs.' No one *needs* kinky sex or sex twenty-four seven (or whatever Bill's issue is.) Go to a prostitute, risk getting God-knows-what and passing it to me, and expect me to play the political wife? You're on your own for this one. See you in court."

See now, that's a normal, sane reaction. But a lot of these sorts of marriages are pure politics; being his wife has become her JOB, and at such a time, she might have trouble separating the roles. At any rate, I cringe for her, I can't imagine how humiliating that would be- to stand up there and support a man while he implies you are lacking, and that's what made him a perv.

Date: 2008-03-11 09:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hollywdliz.livejournal.com
I think we love seeing a sanctimonious prig crash and burn no matter what side of the party line he was on, but it's so much juicier if he spent his life raging about immorality and sex and the sanctity of marriage (usually Republican bywords, especially in the Midwest and the South) before picking up a call girl. Although this is almost as good, since he actually RAN PROSTITUTION STINGS as attorney general.

I loved the Colbert Report last night, in which Colbert chastised the media for sensationalizing the story, then put up a graphic with Spitzer's face and the word "WHORES!" in big letters underneath. I laughed so hard I almost fell off the couch.

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