Monday, March 10, 2008

Clinton settles on runningmate

"He's the kind of guy I'm comfortable with,"
candidate declares.


Mike said...

By the way, I lived in NY in 2006 and voted for both of these disappointments.

ronnie said...

This Canuck was initially completely baffled until the story hit like a hurricane on the Canadian evening news cycle last night...

Question: In what universe doea a public apology in which one neither admits to, mentions or even alludes to the unnamed actions one is apologizing for make the trouble go away?

'Cause here in Canada you're at least going to have to admit you "pocketed" the ring, and even then everybody is going to laugh at you for the euphemism.

Is this a New-York-isn't-like-the-rest-of-the-world-wishful-thinking kind of thing?

Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

I bet someone is going to do an editorial cartoon on this theme - but i'll remember that i saw it here first!

Sherwood Harrington said...

So why'd you take out the line about Bill?

Mike Peterson said...

Timing, Sherwood, and a desire to not gild the lily.

For those who missed it, it was a crack about pundits feeling the choice would solve the problem of the president being bored and lonely. I let it stay up there for a little bit, but then decided it crossed the line between a wisecrack and piling on.

Mike said...

I would add, ronnie, that this is equally disappointing as the odd fall of Svend Robinson -- Spitzer was (was!) incredibly promising and came across as a solid good guy. And it's beyond Bill and Monica or Gary Hart and Donna Rice because it's not even a "crime of opportunity" -- he went through some elaborate efforts to set this up. This is major league sleaze. Pathetic. Appalling. Yuck.

And fiscally irresponsible, too. $4,300?? Damn, I went through about half my bachelorhood on that budget!

Mike said...

Oh, and I voted for Gary Hart, too.


Mark Jackson said...

Yeah, I was going to call Gary and tell him we need the trophy back - he's been topped.

Not by much, mind you. Challenging the press to catch you fooling around, and almost immediately thereafter fooling around, set a high bar. But the transaction monitoring that drew attention to Spitzer's dealings (in the five figures, allegedly) was put in place largely due to prosecutions launched by him as NYS Attorney General!

Based on that, we have a winner.

Dann said...


The answer to your question is two-fold.

First, Mr. Spitzer faces some pretty serious legal troubles in the weeks and months ahead. American justice does not happen in the courtroom. It happens in the prosecutor's office where the prosecutor and the defense counsel negotiate for the crime to which one admits guilt as well as the punishment...if any...that may be required.

A clear admission of guilt would rob Mr. Spitzer's counsel of their last bit of leverage to secure a conviction for a lesser crime and/or lesser punishment. Trials are expensive and messy affairs. Negotiating an admission of guilt to avoid those costs is part of the process.

Forget the nonsense about throwing yourself at the 'mercy' of the court. Our legislators have done everything possible to place limits on judicial decision making. Where one formerly might be able to point out an otherwise sterling record of service and a judge might decide to be a bit lenient, now such character defenses are pointless as legislatively mandated minimum sentences require stiff penalties.

[of course, our prisons are filled to the rim which causes prison officials to run early release program...which in turn cause legislators to pass 'truth in sentencing' laws...which fill prisons....etc.]

Second, Americans lover a fighter that fights not just until the bell, but perhaps a bit past it. As Gen. George Patton once said:

"Americans play to win all of the time."

The value of a simple apology has declined. It has become such that one need only apologize for a 'youthful' indiscretion before obtaining political absolution to continue the fight for issues that are far more important than one politician's minor personal issues.

The "play to win all of the time" politician uses the non-apology-apology to 'cover' any offense caused to the public and make any further action on the issue a "private matter".