More Scandal. Another press conference scene with an penitential politician and a doting, head-cocked, stoic wife. It doesn't matter what language or what area of the country, the careful self-flagellation and spousal hand-holding is the national symbol for "I'm fucked. (but my wife certainly wasn't)." That scene in general, and yesterday's Spitzer scene in particular, got us to the topic of vices.
Ah yes vices, those lovely little spigots through which all our pleasure and downfall spews. Obviously, Spitzer's vices were twofold: a steamroller mentality and the sexual prowess of your average, woman-hating john. Combine those with money and power and you've got an unstoppable vice-ridden force... that is until he was caught, and by the IRS no less --what could quite possibly be dubbed as the least sexy of federal agencies. Because of his (newly revealed) completely hypocritical record of being extremely harsh on corruption, it's only probably a matter of hours before Spitzer gets the proverbial boot via insta-resignation. And so Spitzer's vice leads to yet another: the vice-gubernatorial man: David Paterson, the lieutenant governor. Because of Spitzer's various indiscretions, we're staring into the face of the first black, and legally blind New York state governor. Let's all hope that the cliche statement is true, and justice is blind. He will be only the fourth black state governor in the US (other states with black governors: Louisiana, Virginia, Massachusetts). But all this aside, this "vice" governor will get the ultimate promotion due to Spitzer's own record of vice. So here's some more contemplative vice.
When people vote, it is under the expectation that who they vote for will be the one who ends up in power. How much consideration do people make when they are presented with a full, two-person ticket? And how much should that factor into their decision? How far the "what-if" road should you travel, and why?
Because let's face it: it's not just assassination that leads to those in power having to concede their position to the underlings --all types of scandal can get you thrown out of office now, and the methods in which government agencies, the media, and the public can check political vices seems to be growing unabated. (All the better to see you, my political darling, said the big bad wolf.) But once we're done devouring our juicy, scandal-ridden suppers, we're left with the carcass of a political machine which now rests on the shoulders of someone who is supposedly qualified, but never intended for the job. And often, the public trust in this individual was given as a pass to the lead candidate that they supported, who is now defunct. Sometimes, this doesn't matter, because the vice-whomever turns out to be good, and maybe better, than the original (the rule of theatrical sequels is not in effect in politics).
But there are some troubling scenarios that every voter should consider when they go to the polls.
Scenario: Say McCain wins. (now this is scary enough, but bear with me here). Say McCain names Huckabee, or someone like him, the vice pres. Now, McCain most likely wouldn't be impeached. But the guy did have cancer four years go, and he is pushing the limits of the average US male life expectancy. So we have to consider that he has a higher chance of dying while in office than any of the other younger, robuster candidates. Leveraged against his possibility of not fulfilling four years, his consideration of a vice candidate should play more into the voter's decision than say, an Obama vice president. And can you imagine what a horrific thing it would be to have a vice-Huckabee, or someone like him in the office of president? Women would be getting out their hangers as abortion is speedily outlawed, and the new prevailing middle school curriculum would be creationist sooner than you could say of pandas and penguins.
Speaking of vices, women, and injustice, let's talk about another important point as the Spitzer drama unfolds with punchy delicacy of a bad porno. One thing is documented: Spitzer is not your average john. The reason for this? You might say his governorship, his money, his status? You'd be right--but not entirely. The main difference between Spitzer and every other womanizing pervert is that Spitzer will actually be punished for soliciting a prostitute... though not really. His indictment is likely to be mainly on the crimes associated with money laundering, or moving around funds and claiming monies are being used for certain things, instead of for buying high class hookers. So maybe Spitzer is like your average john in that the crime of prostitution will be lesser, if at all than if he was the actual prostitute. It is widely documented that the "vixens", not the vice-ridden men, get the brunt of the legal action taken against them. So they are screwed both literally and figuratively, if you get the rather overt drift. Through the 80's up to today, numbers have shown that a much larger percentage of prostitutes are arrested verses "customers" and the average time in jail is much longer for women that are arrested compared to men. That's not even to mention the fact that well, when was the last time you heard of a woman charged with soliciting a prostitute on the street? So not only do we have a culture that promotes the idea of the downtrodden woman selling her body for money, we also have a system in place that perpetuates the denigrating practice by allowing men soft sentences for solicitation, while simultaneously punishing the prostitutes. No one's saying that prostitutes should get off free--they are breaking the law--but punishments should go to those who keep them in business, in order to put them out of business. If a service is illegal, both the provider and the purchaser should be liable. But vices have a tendency of devouring all sanity in their paths.