As you've no doubt read by now, the bombshell news is that New York Governor (and former New York Attorney General) Eliot Spitzer was identified as a client of a prostitution ring through a federal wiretap. Does it matter?
I think so. One thing that defenders of Bill Clinton never seemed to acknowledge was that his impeachment wasn't based merely on the fact of an illicit sexual relationship with an intern, but rather, lies under oath about that relationship. Here, Spitzer's conduct is even worse. . . .
Had the story been that Spitzer had gone to Nevada (where prostitution is legal everywhere except in the cities of Las Vegas and Reno) and hired a prostitute, there might have been some moral outrage, but it would otherwise be a non-story. This would be true even if, as is the case, Spitzer -- as AG -- brought cases against prostitution rings, for it is entirely consistent to say that as AG, he was merely enforcing New York law, whether he agreed with it or not.
That argument, however, is not available to him. It's not a private matter, as he asserted in his "apology." (If it were truly private, why would he feel the need to call a press conference about it?) The fact that he, as AG, prosecuted prostitution rings and yet engages one himself, means that he is putting himself above the law. Had he disagreed with the ban on prostitution, he -- as AG -- could have declined to prosecute such cases. He did not. He obviously felt those laws were worth enforcing. So why is it "private" when he allegedly engages in it?
I don't see how Spitzer has any choice but to resign. His political career has to be in shambles. How could he ever win another campaign?