As Eliot Spitzer's time in office is coming to a rapid close (he announced his resignation today, effective Monday), I've been hearing a lot of nonsense coming from politicians interviewed about the scandal on TV (what a shock, eh?). This morning I put the TV on and saw some politician (I have no idea who he is) who called what happened with Spitzer "a tragedy."
Oh give me a break. I wish these political hacks would stop using the term "tragedy" to describe this. This politician was naturally a Democrat, like Spitzer. Would this same guy be using that term if Spitzer were a Republican? Hardly likely. If he was, they'd be demanding his head on a stick and talking impeachment (like many Republicans in NY are now).
Listen, I have sympathy for Spitzer's wife and three daughters. They are trapped in the middle of this mess and surely had absolutely no idea what he was up to. They will have to live forever knowing their father and husband left office in disgrace. I do feel for them.
But Spitzer has no one to blame but himself for this quagmire he's in. He's another of those "do as I say, not as I do" types, a man who figured he was above the law and would not get caught. But to call what he did a "tragedy" demeans what a real tragedy is. What happened in Lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001 was a tragedy. What happened to the Titanic was a tragedy. What happened to those 10 people who died in that fire in the Bronx last year was a tragedy.
So stop using that term to describe what happened to Eliot Spitzer. He's another bigtime politician who got caught and will have to live with it for the rest of his life.
He's a not a tragic figure. He's a late-night talk show punch line. There's a big difference.