March 11, 2008
Notes on a Spitzer scandal
Posted by: Chris
Thanks to Andoni for his rapid post yesterday confirming that New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's would-be replacement, Lt. Gov. David Paterson, is also a strong supporter of marriage equality legislation. The Advocate has posted a background piece by Kerry Eleveld that provides a bit more background, including this concerning Paterson's past:
Paterson has been on record in support of marriage equality as early as 1994. When Paterson was asked if he would take part in pushing through the marriage bill following his inauguration in January 2007, he told the New York Blade, “I’m not going to be in that fight -- I’m going to be in front of that fight because my first day as [senate minority leader] was the day we passed the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act. One of the reasons we need same-sex marriage is because the statistics for heterosexual marriage are so bad; that might be a way to upgrade some of the success rates.”
As a bonus, Paterson, who is African American and legally blind, is a former Senate Minority Leader with strong ties to legislators from both parties and will operate with a deep reservoir of goodwill that Spitzner never had.
On the other hand, it is deeply disappointing to see perhaps the leading heterosexual gay marriage advocate nationwide admit to misconduct that relates directly to his own marriage. Spitzer's scandal follows on the heels of Gavin Newsome, the handsome San Francisco mayor who defiantly married gay couples in the spring of 2004, before admitting last year to an extramarital affair with the wife of his deputy chief of staff that resulted in divorces all the way around.
Of course there's no shortage of infidelity and marital disrespect from many of those most vocal against gay marriage, from Defense of Marriage Act lead sponsor Bob Barr, a thrice-married former Georgia congressman, to presumptive GOP presidential John McCain, who backed Arizona's draconian anti-marriage, anti-civil union and anti-D.P. ballot measure despite a personal history of having dumped his injured first wife in favor of current wife Cindy McCain, who he married one month after his divorce.
Then there's David Vitter, the Republican senator from Louisiana with a rotten gay rights record who got caught up in the D.C. Madam scandal, admitting that he hired prostitutes in D.C. -- just as Spitzer did. After Vitter's public apology to his wife and constituents, he was greeted with a standing ovation in a private session with the GOP congressional caucus. After Spitzer apologized yesterday to his family and constituents, he was greeted by a demand for his resignation by the Republican Governor's Association and and an impeachment threat from the state GOP leaders.
Sounds eerily like the whole Clinton-Lewinsky mess, doesn't it? Spitzer is, by the way a Hillary backer and superdelegate who has said he will vote for her. Thus far she has declined comment on the scandal, except to express concern … for Spitzer.
One final note was the interview (closet case) Anderson Cooper did last night with Dina Matos McGreevey, estranged wife of New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, whose "I'm a gay American" press conference was eerily similar to Spitzer's somber statement yesterday. Like Spitzer's spouse, Matos McGreevey is a sympathetic figure, given the public humiliation they were both put through.
But I don't agree with Cooper's observation that Silda Spitzer is now being subjected to "ridicule" like Matos McGreevey had been, mainly because Mrs. Spitzer managed to avoid the Stepford wife grin frozen on Matos McGreevey's face. And Matos McGreevey has stooped to the sewer every bit as much as her despicable husband during their incredibly nasty divorce litigation.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
The comments to this entry are closed.