11 March 2008

The Disconnect

Okay, my hometown paper, and probably yours, is full of stuff about Eliot Spitzer today. Understandably.

But a comment from Alan Dershowitz rather puts the whole thing in perspective:

“I always thought he was somebody who would come down on crimes with real victims,” Mr. Dershowitz said. “Prostitutes aren’t victims — they’re getting paid a thousand dollars an hour, and the johns aren’t victims. What upset me the most was that they wiretapped thousands of e-mails and phone calls. In an age when terrorism needs to be stopped, they’re devoting these kinds of resources to a prostitution ring?”

I'm in no way condoning Spitzer's behavior. But was this really a good use of taxpayer dollars?

* * * * * * * *

In a weird synchronicity of disconnect, yesterday's Times had an article on getting married with no one present, and another on making a baby with no one there.

In Montana, it's possible to have a double-proxy wedding. The groom is hither, the bride is thither, and random strangers say the vows for them in a Montana courtroom. It's one thing to have a wedding where one of the parties appears by proxy - it lets a soldier marry a hometown sweetheart while deployed. But two proxies? It boggles the imagination.

And in India, commercial surrogacy is legal and, because of the (low) costs involved, is attracting foreigners. So you get scenarios like this one:

Yonatan Gher and his partner, who are Israeli, plan eventually to tell their child about being made in India, in the womb of a stranger, with the egg of a Mumbai housewife they picked from an Internet lineup.

There's no relationship, no connection, no contact, nothing but a contract and some consideration. I have no problem with surrogacy, but this too boggles the imagination.

I'm not condemning either of these practices; I find them fascinating examples of a lack of barriers engendered by the global economy, the internet and modern technology. And I read both of those articles word for word, reveling in the fact they were both in the same section of the same paper on the same day.

* * * * * * * *

Back to Spitzer: he is suffering from a disconnect. From his wife and family, from his own high-minded ethics, from his constituents, from common sense. What was he thinking?

19 comments:

FreshHell said...

Sigh. It's too simplistic to throw up my hands and shout, "Men! WTF!" But, really, what IS there problem? Prostitutes? How about a run-of-the-mill affair with someone a tad....safer? Or is the thrill factor? Either way, I don't get it. If he were my husband, assuming the allegations are true, I'd divorce him.

FreshHell said...

Their - not "there"

flutter said...

I don't think it's victimless, because he was using taxpayer money to pay these prostitutes. He was using taxpayer resources to find them, using his staff to hide his activities....

niobe said...

What was he thinking?

Probably that he wasn't going to get caught. Which, in the normal course, he wouldn't have been.

wheelsonthebus said...

OK, those two examples? Very odd.

Don Mills Diva said...

It boggles the mind. I'm Canadian and not that familiar with him so at first I was like - whatever - he went to a prostitute...but when I heard about how he had crusaded against it well...the hypocrisy and stupidity just boggles the mind.

Julie Pippert said...

Cheers to Alan Dershowitz!

And cheers to you about the disconnect.

Mrs. G. said...

While I'm disgusted with ES for being such a hypocrite (and humiliating his wife and three young daughters), I agree with you and AD regarding victimless crime. In the grand scheme of criminal behavior, prostitution seems like chump change.

susan said...

If he was thinking anything, it had to be, "No one will ever find out about this."

Mayberry said...

... which (continuing from Susan) is the height of arrogance, but not surprising.

Nap Warden said...

Husband and I just discussed this at dinner...You can't do anything today that isn't taped in some way. C'mon, prostitutes!!! You are the Governor of NY. What are you thinking!!! All I can do is shake my head...

the mama bird diaries said...

I think Eliot was drunk on power OR just a sex addict with a very serious problem OR both.

But now he's thrown his marriage and his job away. And I believe, you are right, we foot the bill.

I would far prefer that $$ be used to fight terrorism. An excellent point.

jen said...

he's clearly not. but girl, you are. this post was excellent.

lilypotter said...

The world is full of stories like that now. It's amazing the things that can (and do) happen nowadays.

Julia said...

There are a couple of interesting op-eds in NYT today arguing the opposite points on the victimless crime.
About Indian surrogacy? I think it's a good thing. So many people can't afford it here, and if it's done at a reputable clinic in India, the woman and her family benefit tremendously, and the family who get the baby obviously do too. This is a real win-win, in my eyes. Double stand-in weddings, though? Weird.

Anonymous said...

victimless? Nope. Not when he himself crusaded against the trafficking of humans and all the other issues to which it is tied.
he crusaded to make a splash, not for principles. all the administrative staff and middle level people fired at places like marsh hate this guy.

Melanie said...

I think we was thinking something like, "Mmmmmm...hoooookers."

bipolarlawyercook said...

Dershowitz's wrong, it's not a victimless crime. Most prostitutes are not high class, name their price "businesswomen." And the prostitutes aside, every woman related to or working with Spitzer is injured, since he's a guy who on some level thinks that money lets him get whatever he wants. But... yeah, better ways to spend taxpayer's money than bringing down swish escort services.

Victoria said...

LOL @ Melanie's comment. The double-proxy wedding? Crazy!