Other people focus their thought by making predictions, so I will too: I predict Eliot Spitzer will hang in there and ride out the storm. Some considerations:
- Bill did, why not Eliot? They’re both psychopaths who like to cross lines and don’t think they’re subject to normal standards. It’s not as if they care about damage to their party or the public interest. Bill had Hill to prop him up with a sense of their infallible righteousness and Eliot’s his own Hill.
- The news cycle cycles on. If he just stays there and treats the whole thing as a non-issue then that eventually becomes the fact of the matter because people lose interest and anyone who complains is a bore.
- Politics today is much more partisan than substantive. Rush Limbaugh and the Republicans are going to be making a fuss. So after a while the Democrats and the media will take the view that Eliot may be a dirtball but he’s their dirtball, and anything is better than giving in to the Republicans.
- This is a case of the Bush Justice Department trying to nail a crusading liberal hyper-pro choice Democratic governor on something to do with sex. How can that be tolerated?
There are of course some major wild cards. One is Mrs. Spitzer, who’s no Hillary (people who know her say she’s a remarkably fine person) and whose views may turn out to have some influence. The biggest joker in the deck though may be criminal charges. A governor’s much more likely to go to jail than a president, so it’s quite possible Spitzer will plea bargain his way out of office.
I suppose the general line I’m taking is that in politics today partisanship and the psychopath’s advantage trump a lot of things that would normally be dispositive. Against that one might argue that the Democrats in Albany hate him too, and the public has also been coming around to the view that he’s a jerk. Also, state politics is more personal and less ideological than national politics. And then there are the wild cards. So who knows?
[UPDATE:] I was wrong, of course, but it was fun making the call in the same way betting a small amount of money on a long shot is fun. It gave me a sort of partisan’s interest in the outcome. Maybe I’ll make some more predictions.
I suppose it was his bullying self-righteousness that brought him down. It was outrageous that HE was doing this, and too many people hated him. It’s said there’s no deal but quite likely there was some suggestion from the prosecutors that a resignation would help him avoid jail time. Actually, it seems to me jail would be wrong in this situation. The substantive crime was a misdemeanor committed by someone with no previous criminal record, and the other charges, so far as I know, are artificial crimes created to deal with other and much more serious situations.