Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Whores and NY Democrats

UPDATE: Linked at Blogs for Victory, where my friend Matt Margolis (co-author of Caucus of Corruption) notes the reports from the New York Sun and WCBS that Spitzer is expected to resign Wednesday.
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As co-author of Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Democratic Party, I was asked Tuesday afternoon for my reaction to the Eliot Spitzer scandal.

First suggestion? Read Iowahawk and laugh yourself silly:
At a hastily scheduled morning press conference at the headquarters of New York's exclusive Emperors Club prostitution ring, high priced call girl "Kristen" announced that she would temporarily step aside in the wake of charges that she had engaged in sex with New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.
"I made a serious mistake and betrayed the trust of my co-workers, my many clients, and my pimps," she said in a quiet voice cracking with emotion. "I will be taking a leave of absence to earn their forgiveness, and redeem myself in the eyes of the entire expensive whore community." . . .
Read the whole thing, and when you're through wiping the tears of laughter from your eyes, pay attention to a few points worth making:
  • Why hookers? Spitzer is successful and powerful, so it is reasonable to ask why a guy like that is patronizing prostitutes. One word: Discretion. A bigshot like that figures that if he engages in an ordinary affair, the woman might tell somebody -- and if the affair breaks up, there's the "woman scorned" factor to worry about. But because prostitution is a criminal enterprise, a guy like Spitzer figures the prostitutes will keep things hush-hush. And maybe if this had been just an occasional fling, Spitzer might have gotten away with it. But doing hookers for six years? The law of large numbers finally caught up with him.
  • The Tammany factor. The revelation of Spitzer's hooker habit highlights the significant role that prostitution played in the history of the Democratic Party in New York, going back to the heyday of Tammany Hall. As explained in Chapter 3 of Donkey Cons, during the 1800s, Tammany Democrats formed close alliances with criminal gangs in New York City, alliances that endured for many decades. A famous Tammany boss and saloon keeper, "Big Tim" Sullivan, controlled New York's police on behalf of pimps and gamblers. Sullivan was so influential that when he died with advanced syphilis in 1913, his funeral was attended by 16 congressmen and four U.S. senators.
  • The irony. Hailed by liberals as the scourge of greedy Wall Street capitalism, Spitzer was destroyed by his enthusiasm for sex of the most capitalistic sort. Spitzer supposedly cared so much about the poor underprivileged "little guy," but didn't mind paying $2,000 a night for the privilege of demanding unsafe sexual acts from prostitutes. (Hey, they're just stupid whores, right? Don't all Democrats expect whores "to do things you might not think were safe"? Or is Spitzer a lone wolf in this regard?)
  • The bright side. Spitzer's downfall apparently triggered Wall Street's biggest day in five years.

For more blogger reaction to Spitzer's Hookergate debacle, check out Memeorandum.

UPDATE: I've just been informed that the title of this post may tend to suggest a disparaging (and potentially libelous) comparison. Therefore, I hasten to point out that, unlike New York Democrats, some whores are actually decent human beings.

UPDATE II: Unlike "Kristen," who was warned about Spitzer's appetite for unsafe acts, another call girl, this one 22 years old, tells ABC News that Spitzer's sexual interests were "clean." Lots of good stuff in the ABC story:

Federal investigators say there is no evidence Spitzer used state money or campaign funds to pay the prostitutes, but that the way he moved an estimated $40,000 through various accounts violated federal money laundering laws. . . .
A prison term is one of the issues holding up the governor's resignation as well as whether or not he pleads guilty to criminal charges.

Heh. An ex-prosecutor in prison. He would be very popular there, I bet. But there's more from ABC:

Other than that, lawyers close to the case say New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is prepared to resign and has his letter written.
Spitzer spent his day at his 5th Avenue apartment in New York City. His wife and three daughters left without him mid-afternoon as he prepared to step down as governor and end what even his political enemies called a once brilliant career.

"His wife and three daughters" -- yeah, prostitution is a victimless crime.

UPDATE III: I love the the New York Post for its tawdry tabloid mentality, but this is just bad writing:

She was waiting for him near the king-sized bed in Room 871, a stunningly sexy, petite brunette who called herself "Kristen."

She knew Client-9 had paid good money -- $4,300 -- for what would be their few hours of steamy sex together at Washington, DC's historic Mayflower Hotel on the day before Valentine's Day, in a deal brokered several days earlier by her pimp back in New York. . . .

Spitzer was a regular with Emperor, according to the complaint that contains the extraordinary details of the governor's tryst with the curvy bombshell: haggling over the price - and a down payment on future services - as well as the kind of sex the governor wanted. (Emphasis added.)

Good writing doesn't waste time with useless adjectives, and good reporting sticks to the facts. According to the affidavit, "Kristen" is 5-foot-5 and 105 pounds. Even though Emperor VIP advertised her as "petite," 5-foot-5 is about average height. My wife is 5-foot-6, and would never describe herself as "petite," a description that generally should be reserved for women 5-foot-2 or less.

"Kristen" is not petite. She is slender, slim or thin. If the writers at the Post want an elegant word for a skinny woman, they might try willowy, or perhaps coltish.

"Kristen" was advertised as "very pretty," but on what basis do the Post writers turn that datum into "stunningly sexy"? Have they met this woman? Is she really that hot? Are they writing a news story or promotional copy for a new DVD re-release of Pretty Woman? And what the heck kind of adverb is "stunningly," anyways?

The Post writers then go on to declare that "Kristen" and Spitzer engaged in "steamy sex." Really? Have they seen a video, or what? I would have a tough time applying the word "steamy" to any sexual act involving Eliot Spitzer, who ain't exactly Brad Pitt. Aesthetic judgments aside, there is no factual basis for the Post writers to say whether the sex in Room 871 on Feb. 13 was "steamy" or not. It's just another wasted adjective.

The real clunker in the Post story comes when the writers decide that the 5-foot-5, 105-pound "Kristen" -- whom they've previously (and erroneously) described as petite -- is now worthy of designation as a curvy bombshell.

No. No. No. A thousand times no. Whatever else you say about a woman who's 5-foot-5 and 105 pounds, she is most definitely not a "curvy bombshell." To have any serious curves, much less "bombshell" curves, a woman who's 5-foot-5 would have to weigh at least 15 pounds more than "Kristen."

Excuse me for venting so much spleen on a few paragraphs of this one article, but it's bad writing, and bad writing annoys me.

UPDATE IV: Holy crap! $80,000 worth of hookers?

The Associated Press, quoting unnamed law enforcement officials, said Spitzer's running tab for the trysts could have been as high as $80,000.

Wow. Spitzer was the Charlie Sheen of governors. After he resigns tomorrow, Spitzer should hop a flight to L.A. and become a Hollywood movie producer. He'd fit right in.

UPDATE V: Just woke up, checked the Site Meter and discovered that somebody had reached my blog by Googling "Spitzer" and "unsafe acts." Obviously, someone's curiosity was aroused by reports that the governor of New York was considered a "difficult" client, known to request that prostitutes "do things you might not think were safe."

What kinky and unsanitary vice was involved? Perhaps it was some kind of group scene, a sort of fantasy-fulfillment fetish involving Greg Gutfeld and Kerry Howley (who've been known to talk about hookers):

UPDATE VI: What is it with Kerry Howley and hookers?

I’m fascinated by the Spitzer-inspired discussion of prostitution on blogs that identify as feminist, most of which seem to be conflicted but marginally pro-decriminalization.

Miss Howley then struggles to discover what might be called a "pro-sex" feminist lesson in the case of "Kristen" and Gov. Charlie Sheen, to wit:
Anti-prostitution laws add a layer of legal sanction to all of our worst intuitions about the treatment of sexually independent women; they strengthen and validate the idea that women who bed men with any frequency are sick, marginal, pariahs.
OK, Miss Howley: Is it the laws or the idea with which you are arguing here? Arguing about laws is fair game, and no one's feelings get hurt. It's just politics, right? However, when it comes to your argument against the idea (which you caricature rather unfairly) of chastity as a virtue, and promiscuity as a vice, you seem strangely ... intolerant.

Don't people have the right to their own opinions? If so, then they have the right to hold sluts in low esteem. You seem to be suggesting, Miss Howley, that people who have a negative opinion of sluts -- or, to employ your euphemism, "sexually independent women" -- are all reactionary lowbrows or moralistic prudes, unfit for polite society. But if "polite society" is to be limited to those who enthusiastically approve of rampant sluttishness, well, it's going to be a rather small society (and not very polite, since it will include lots of "Girls Gone Wild" and Britney Spears fans).

As Ayn Rand might say, you need to re-examine your premise.


  1. ummmm
    Any idea why the name of only one john was leaked ?

  2. At least he is not tapping his shoes in the boy restroom and sending love notes to his male assistance. All and all he's just a consumer, trying to stimulate the economy. It was like any good Republican often said: "It's just simply a business deal and job creation."