Are New York City “Feminist” Organizations Sock-Puppeting for Wall Street in Attacking Spitzer?

Yves here. Regular readers may notice that this article is a departure from normal NC fare, in that this site has steered clear of posts that address a particular demographic or ethnic group. But we’ve decided to go this route in response to the feint being used by the Wall Street and its Democratic party sock puppets to go after Eliot Spitzer’s campaign to become Comptroller of New York City.

As we pointed out, the Comptroller’s office has the potential to serve as a platform for probing and hopefully curbing some of the finance industry’s ways of taking advantage of hapless municipalities. Since broke and severely distressed local governments are increasingly becoming carcasses for banksters to pick over, having someone like Spitzer examine ways that these governments had been or are now being abused could crimp this looting operation. So stopping Spitzer is a high priority for Wall Street.

So the Democratic establishment in New York City is resorting to its tried-and-true playbook to undermine Spitzer. His Achilles heel is the prostitution scandal that drove him from office. How better to keep that transgression front and center than by having women’s groups noise it up? I’m not in a position to prove it yet, but I’m strongly of the suspicion that Big Finance is to a significant degree behind this supposedly feminist squawking. For instance, the people who’ve asked me to give money to Planned Parenthood over the years are Wall Street men on its board, and Planned Parenthood is out front and center in the anti-Spitzer messaging. And in general, New York City has become so finance-dominated that the default assumption is that any major not-for-profit has significant banking industry representation among its major donors unless you have good reason to think otherwise.

As we’ve discussed in the past (see our Why Liberal are Lame, Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4), the Democrats have managed to improve on the Karl Rove playbook of using identity politics to get voters to support candidates who actively undermine their economic interests. As we wrote in 2011:

The left is obsessed with what ought to be peripheral concerns, namely, political correctness and Puritanical moralizing, because it is actually deeply divided on the things that matter, namely money and the role of the state. The Democrats have been so deeply penetrated by the neoliberal/Robert Rubin/Hamilton Project types that they aren’t that different from the right on economic issues. Both want little regulation of banking and open trade and international capital flows. Both want to “reform” Medicare and Social Security. Both are leery of a welfare state, the Republicans openly so, the Rubinite Dems with all sorts of handwringing and clever schemes to incentivize private companies that generally subsidize what they would have done regardless (note that Americans have had a mixed record in providing good social safety nets, but a big reason is our American exceptionalism means we refuse to copy successful models from abroad).

The powerful influence of moneyed interests on the Democratic party has achieved the fondest aims of the right wing extremists of the 1970s: the party of FDR is now lukewarm at best in its support of the New Deal. Most Democrats are embarrassed to be in the same room with union types. They are often afraid to say that government can play a positive role. They were loath to discuss the costs of income inequality until it became so far advanced that it is now well nigh impossible to reverse it. After all, that sort of discussion might sound like class warfare, and God forbid anyone on the mainstream left risk sound like Marx…

So the Democratic party (and remember, our two party system makes the Democrats the home by default for the left) pretends to be a safe haven for all sorts of out groups: women, gays, Hispanics (on their way to being the dominant group but not there yet), blacks, the poor. But this is stands in stark contradiction to its policies of selling out the middle class to banks and big corporate interests, just on a slower and stealthier basis than the right. So its desperate need to maintain its increasingly phony “be nice to the rainbow coalition” branding places a huge premium on appearances. It thus uses identity politics as a cover for policy betrayals. It can motivate various groups on narrow, specific issues, opening the way for the moneyed faction to get what it wants.

So the sad part isn’t simply that Lynn Parramore has to write a piece telling women that Spitzer is on their side. It’s that she’s also likely to take heat from so-called feminists for it. I’ve gotten in some minor squabbles with this crowd in on-line venues, and it’s remarkable to see how they go on tilt if you dare differ with them on how good progressive women should think and behave. I don’t take them seriously enough to be bothered by their bullying, but Parramore, who writes at a liberal outlets, is the sort they probably think they can punish for breaking with the Good Feminist Party Line. So believe it or not, her having written the post that follows is actually brave.

As I wrote last year, in support of Glenn Greenwald for pointing out how Ron Paul was to the left of Obama on some important issues:

Ah, the gender baiting card! No women or non whites have anything nice to say about Ron Paul! That’s patently untrue, but identity bigots like [Katha] Pollitt apparently can’t wrap their minds around the notion that many people see themselves as citizens first and their demography second, and can and do have nuanced views based on how they weigh multiple political considerations: class, concentration of power, rule of law, civil liberties, and gender/race/sexual orientation…

But most important, I object to the presumption of the Pollitt position, that right-thinking women of the left-leaning persuasion must of course agree with her. I find myself appalled by the culture, such that it is, of soi-disant progressives in DC. That isn’t to say that there aren’t many talented individuals laboring to make things better. But from what I can tell, their efforts are too often at odds with and deliberately undermined by a puerile, often vicious style of discourse that values petty conformity over substantive contributions. And the sacred cow of petty conformity is political correctness (well, unless you are a “progressive” woman, that makes is OK to yell “white male oppressor” when you run out of arguments).

So please read and circulate the post below. And better yet, give Parramore an “atta girl” on Twitter.

By Lynn Parramore, senior editor at Alternet and co-founder of Recessionwire. Follow her on Twitter @LynnParramore. Cross posted from Huffington Post

As a life-long feminist, I’ve often been struck by the lack of insight in the political realm into a simple fact: So-called “women’s issues” are everyone’s issues.

When women have access to reproductive healthcare, when they are supported in the workplace, when they can enjoy a dignified retirement, when they are protected from Wall Street predators, when they are economically secure, everyone wins.

Enter a candidate for New York City Comptroller who has an outstanding record on all of these issues. One who has shown an unmatched enthusiasm for challenging Wall Street abuses that disproportionately impact women, one who has championed women’s workplace rights and access to healthcare — and one who even publicly calls himself a feminist.

Incredibly, some women, like NOW New York president Sonia Ossorio, have chosen to actually team up with business leaders to spend $1.5 million to skew the election and defeat Eliot Spitzer in his bid for office. Is Ossorio representing the National Organization for Women, or the National Organization for Wall Street? In a fit of apparent amnesia, Sasha Ahuja of Planned Parenthood’s New York City Action Fund dissed Spitzer by saying she’s backing Scott Stringer because she wants “candidates that don’t just give a nod to women’s issues.” Huh? Spitzer has given far more than a nod to women’s issues— in fact, he has been a vigorous defender of Ahuja’s own group.

When Karl Rove convinces lower-income whites to vote against their own interest by inflaming them on issues like gay marriage, most progressives and liberals can easily see the game that is being played. Where is that wisdom now?

Some women — thankfully not all — are getting whipped up into a myopic fury and a simplistic stance toward a man whose advocacy of things that matter to them seems to far outweigh the mistake that caused him to resign his office five years ago. This works out well for those who’d rather treat women’s fundamental rights like so many poker chips to toss around in political games. And it’s a dream come true for crooks in the financial services industry who don’t want a comptroller watching them who actually knows what they’re up to and is willing to take them on to protect the interests of New York’s women.

Maybe a close examination of Spitzer’s record will help restore some perspective. Here are 5 things women should consider in assessing Eliot Spitzer as a candidate for New York City Comptroller.

1. Spitzer is a feminist: Yes, that’s right. Recently on MSNBC, Spitzer was asked if he was a feminist. He immediately said yes. That answer emphatically distinguishes him from the vast majority of men, four fifths of whom polls show do not consider themselves feminists, and even many prominent women, such as Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer.

Contrary to what some of the more rigid feminists in high places are saying right now, feminism is not a rulebook handed out by well-heeled, well-connected women in New York City. As Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams recently explained, it is a fluid concept big enough to include conflicting points of view on any number of issues, and some imperfect beings, too. From the very beginning, men have taken part in and identified with feminism, and have used their influence to promote women’s rights. But you don’t see a lot of major politicians flying their feminist flag.

When was the last time you heard Mike Bloomberg describe himself as a feminist? The billionaire mayor donates to Planned Parenthood, but his trickle-down economics and Wall Street pandering certainly do not help women. Apart from that, his public and private sexism is notorious. Who can forget his infamous opinion in a deposition on a sexual harassment case that he would believe a rape charge only if the victim could produce an “unimpeachable third-party witness”? That’s not the viewpoint of a man who is thoughtful about women and their experiences.

Spitzer, on the other hand, goes on national television and calls himself a feminist — an identification that is part of the progressive stance that has shaped his politics, reflected in his repeated actions to protect women’s rights and strengthen their economic security by taking on the Wall Street predators a politician like Bloomberg caters to.

2. Protecting Reproductive rights: Representatives from Planned Parenthood and NARAL say they want a strongly pro-choice comptroller. They might recall that as governor of New York, Spitzer introduced legislation to protect a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy following the Supreme Court’s disappointing upholding of anti-abortion legislation. That same bill, the Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act, sought to remove abortion from criminal statues and repealed criminalization of over-the-counter contraception to minors. You can read Planned Parenthood’s enthusiastic description of Spitzer’s bill on the Planned Parenthood website.

And that’s not all. As attorney general, Spitzer defended women’s access to reproductive health services and filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against a family accused of harassing women at a Planned Parenthood clinic, resulting in an $80,000 fine. He also formed a special unit within his office to combat violence at health clinics across the state.

After leaving office, Spitzer continued to speak out on behalf of women’s reproductive rights. Want to see him vigorously defending Planned Parenthood from a right-wing attack? Take a look at this 2011 CNN discussion with a PP critic.

3. Promoting Women’s Healthcare: Spitzer’s advocacy of women’s healthcare goes beyond reproductive issues to other critical health initiatives. Cervical cancer, once the leading cause of death for U.S. females, still kills thousands of American women every year. In 2007, Spitzer worked to expand cervical cancer vaccination for low-income teens and women. His budget as governor also increased funding for the Breast Cancer Detection And Education Program. Before that, as attorney general, Spitzer supported mandated coverage of mammograms and called for implementation of expanded mammogram care.

And while we’re on the subject of health, let’s look back at what else Spitzer was up to as attorney general. In addition to going after Wall Street criminals, he pursued drug companies who deceived doctors and hid important information about the safety of drugs. For example, he won a major settlement against pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline for concealing negative data on the antidepressant drug Paxil, which was being prescribed to children. Moms across New York have Spitzer to thank for protecting their kids against fraudulent drug companies.

4. Defending Working Mothers and Families: Women often struggle to balance the demands of the workplace with their heavy responsibilities caring for children and elderly parents. In his 2008 State of the State address, Spitzer said that New Yorkers shouldn’t have to choose between economic security and caring for their families. He pushed for a paid leave plan that would give New York workers 12 weeks a year in paid leave to take care of newborn children and seriously ill family members. That plan was far superior to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, which only gave covered workers 12 weeks of unpaid leave.

Spitzer also showed his support to women who run businesses. As governor, he signed an executive order creating an Executive Leadership Council and Corporate Roundtable to promote opportunities for Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) and help level the business playing field.

5. Wall Street Watchdog: What does Wall Street have to do with women? A lot, actually. Wall Street predations and reckless activities have cost millions of women their jobs, homes, and pensions. Swindlers in business suits have triggered massive funding crises in cities across America by charging outrageous fees, setting up harmful financial deals, and other shenanigans.

Women pay disproportionately for all this. They endure cuts to the social services they rely on to keep themselves and their families afloat in times of need. Teachers, nurses, and other public workers are laid off and see their pensions under attack. Detroit is merely the worst example — Wall Street hustlers have drained public coffers across the country.

The comptroller oversees New York City’s pension funds and has many dealings with Wall Street and corporations. Spitzer, known as the “Sheriff of Wall Street” during his tenure as attorney general, has the knowledge and capability to examine fee structures on pension funds and aggressively challenge things like stratospheric executive compensation at the companies in which they are invested. No wonder business interests are supporting the anti-Spitzer Super Pac!

Spitzer has said that he wants to use the comptroller’s office as a platform for activism that would allow him to use the power of public investments to make Wall Street act fairly and to protect the retirements of New York workers. As comptroller, he would have the power of oversight to make sure tax dollars are spent wisely and not just shoveled over to corporate interests. That’s good for New York women and their families.

Before dismissing a man who made a mistake five years ago, women should look at the total record and the whole person before deciding if Eliot Spitzer is a candidate worth supporting. His record of achievement in his famous suits against Wall Street, Glaxo, and other corporate behemoths is without any real peer in the U.S. today. He has been a staunch supporter reproductive rights and his record of advancing the needs of working women and families show him to be an ally to women, despite any trumped up charges to the contrary

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  1. Clive

    Candidates positions on the corporate state / rescuing our countries from becoming banana republics / crony capitalism — call it what you will — are *the* defining issues for voters today.

    I’ll make some limited exceptions for out-and-out fascists, racists, homophobes etc. as they should never be allowed to hold office. But as a rule, it matters a lot less what the men do with their willies and what the women think about affordable child care (to name but two subjects) than what they will do once in office about the TBTFs, the rule of law being eroded and stopping the revolving door spinning quite so fast or quite so profitably.

  2. Beppo

    Really good post, Yves. I think this has been a neoliberal tactic since the 70s, calling left figures and organizations racist or antifeminist. Unions were really savaged for it.

  3. JTFaraday

    “see our Why Liberal are Lame, Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4”

    Oh, I miss “Why Liberals are Lame”!–that was one of my favorite features.

    1. Spring Texanb

      I didn’t read it but I guess I need to now. The phrase “uses identity politics as a cover for policy betrayals” is so perfect for what has happened and I can’t believe how many people it regularly fools.

      1. JTFaraday

        This is true, but to really get at “why liberals are lame,” one needs to dig past the identity politics formation into the liberal formation that preceded it– and to which “identity politics” was one, inadequate response.

        The following post today, “Questioning the Underlying Structures of Property and Power is ‘Off the table'” moves in that direction:

      2. Klassy!

        Yes, and stealing from the Karl Rove playbook is exactly the right characterization. Why is it so ahard for people to say this.

        1. hunkerdown

          I’ve tried it, admittedly none too artfully, and the charge usually goes right over their heads or is received as a stimulus to evoke a partisan quacking response.

  4. charles sereno

    Re this post: !!!, +1, 10+3
    Just one of the many gems found there is this — “carcasses for banksters to pick over.” This image begs to be cartooned, including “wordy” ones (eg, T. Tomorrow).

  5. Justicia

    National Organization of Wealthy White Women: the voice of Establishment Feminism. No wonder women have been losing ground on so many issues from reproductive rights to workplace discrimination.

    1. Emma


      And here was me thinking Feminism was about improving peoples lives, ensuring fair consideration of others and meeting their needs, whilst welcoming those who show solidarity with the cause too.

      Clearly NOW and Planned Parenthood do not represent ordinary women who want pretty basic things from the US government, and are rather, elite Wall Street princesses sitting in their ivory towers ignorantly passing judgement on others.

      It is lamentable that unlike Lise Meitner, they have figured out how to split the atom in a trivial and irrelevant way dehumanizing Spitzer and using their mind-blowing plastique cleavages to stimulate and institutionalize misogyny within the US.

      The scaremongering surrounding Spizters’ misdemeanors distracts us from the actual issues facing women and plays right into the hands of his politically desperate and frustrated opponents, who if push comes to shove, would never have agreed to the rise of LaGarde over Strauss-Kahn.

      Amelia Erhardt flew across continents bringing the world closer together. It would behoove NOW and Planned Parenthood to do likewise, get off their high-horses, and move closer to those who genuinely support the world of mature feminism and equality.

      1. CB

        Spitzer’s weasling his way around campaign finance law was not petty. The man has demonstrated his disdain for the laws he wants others to toe the line on. He’s compulsively belligerent and alienated every politician in Albany. I think he’s a very bad choice, altho maybe he’s appealing in the way I voted for Hillary in the 2008 primary: the best of a dismayingly bad lot. If that’s the case, good luck because he’ll flail and fail, again. I take the advice of a man who has seen a lot of foolishness: never trust a man who can’t control his appetites.

        1. hunkerdown

          Well, good. You are aware that comptrollers are supposed to be adversarial, right? And you’re aware that talking point has already been blasted all over the HuffPo version of the article, right? Which of the organizations did it come from, PP or NOW or someone else? Who sent you your Action Alert?

          1. CB

            Three words for you: Mary Jo White.

            Don’t automatically jump to defend or believe anyone. No one gets it right all the time. Yves seems to have a great deal staked on Spitzer’s being THE GUY for the job. I disagree, strongly, and I think Spitzer has amply demonstrated his essential amorality. Spitzer’s core is self-aggrandizing and opportunistic, he appeals the way Chris Christie in NJ appeals: smash mouth bullying. (Spitzer I don’t know about but Christie travels with a state police Praetorian Guard who muscle opposition.)

            1. Nathanael

              Spitzer’s form of self-aggrandizing is the sort which we WANT. He aggrandizes himself by attacking other powerful people.

              That is the job description for both an Attorney General and the Comptroller: attacking the powerful.

        2. borkman

          Yup, walks and talks like part of the organized opposition. Spitzer funding his own campaign is now presented as an abuse. Talk about distorts and smears.

          This looks a ham-handed version of a line of attack straight out of the debate with Stringer yesterday, which if you actually watched it, Spitzer shellacked Stringer. So yes, another Dem hack sent to discipline thinking at NC.

          And because Spitzer’s effective must be a jackboot. All we want on the left are cowards who follow party orders, when the party these days is bought and paid in NYC by Wall Street. Did you say the same stuff about Eric Schneiderman back in the days when people believed in him?

          1. CB

            If you’re asking me, no, I didn’t know Schneiderman at the time. Still don’t, come to that, except by report and briefly. No personal knowledge whatsoever. You?

  6. Michael Fiorillo

    With all due respect, Yves, I’m going to disagree with you on this one.

    As a NYC public school teacher, some may say I’m invoking my own parochial corner of the world, but Spitzer and Wall Street are joined at the hip in at least one significant respect: support for charter schools and the privatization of the public education.

    Spitzer is an enthusiastic supporter of publicly-funded, privately controlled charters, which are aggressively reconfiguring education for the worse here in the city, and invading public school facilities.

    Spitzer’s opponent, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, has appointed Patrick Sullivan, an eloquent defender of the public schools, to Mayor Bloomberg’s sham Panel on Educational Policy, which replaced the old Board of Ed.

    Patrick Sullivan is invariably outvoted by Bloomberg’s puppet appointees, but nevertheless raises important questions and challenges the prevailing smash-and-grab ethos of so-called education reform.

    Perhaps Spitzer’s and Wall Street’s interests are more aligned than commonly thought. As a female-majority profession, the attacks on public education and public school teachers have negative consequences for women (and everyone else, save the school privateers), since the hostile takeover of public education partially revolves around turning teaching into temporary, at-will, pension-less employment.

    My union, the UFT, is pretty clueless on many political endorsements, and is often in bed with the education privateers, but I’m with them in their opposition to Spitzer.

    1. Moneta

      Spitzer can’t be against everything Wall Street does or he would not have been able to climb the ladder.

      You’ve got to pick your battles as you don’t have to win all your battles to win a war.

      IMO, we’ve got to stop the crooks and downsize the financial industry before anything else. When we have accomplished that biggie many other things will fall into place all by themselves… i.e. public vs. privatization would probably be one.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      1. As Comptroller, he would have nothing to do with policy on charters

      2. As Comptroller, he WOULD be able to go after abuses by banks in terms of public pension ripoffs. In fact, that’s one of his biggest and most likely targets. That means better results on the pensions and less basis for having the mayor and others scream that union pensions (such as those of teachers) need to be cut.

      So when he’s in a position to do some good for you, you’d rather settle scores and go for a Democratic party hack, who will fall in line with Wall Street.

      1. Cujo359

        “1. As Comptroller, he would have nothing to do with policy on charters”

        I was going to write that if Spitzer ever ran for President (or governor) this would be more of a concern, but you beat me to it.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Given his history, the furthest he could aspire to is probably mayor, and he still has to get past the Dem party to do that.

          If we were to have that high class problem, then supporters should pressure on his charter stance. The results are coming in not good, so it might be possible to get him to recant.

      2. CB

        There’s a backhanded dismissal: I didn’t see any score settling in Michael Fiorillo’s piece.

        1. borkman

          Simply saying X is not X does not in fact make it not X.

          Fiorillo says he’s “invoking my own parochial corner of the world”.

          Urging people not to vote for Spitzer over his (past) position on charters when it’s not something that’s in the comptroller job spec sure looks like score settling to me.

          1. CB

            To “Never trust a man who can’t control his appetites,” I’d add, “If you want to know what someone will be, look at what he’s been.”

            Excusing bad behavior encourages it. But……….choose your idols as you wish to worship.

  7. petridish

    The logical “feminist” position here would be that a woman has the right to do what she wants to with her own body, and it’s no one’s business but hers.

    That is, after all, the theory that “feminists” espouse in the abortion debate, and have espoused in the past in discussions of the criminalization of prostitution.

    That elite “feminists” have gone all puritanical against Spitzer speaks volumes. Apparently ripping off municipalities and pension funds is more fundamental to the New York lifestyles of the rich and famous than anyone thought.

    1. petridish

      Perhaps I should have written:

      “Apparently ripping off municipalities and pension funds is more fundamental to the New York lifestyles of the rich and famous AND THEIR WIVES AND GIRLFRIENDS than anyone thought.”

    2. TK421

      Absolutely. I admit I can’t think of a feminist rationale to oppose Spitzer. Is it because he cheated on his wife? I had no idea that feminists were so invested in the traditional family structure. Is it the prostitution? What happened to “my body, my choice”?

      Anyway, great column, Yves.

  8. Andrew Watts

    Overall this is just another symptom of our national decline. Identity politics allows bobos to portray themselves as progressive do-gooders that relieves them of any guilt or responsibility for perpetrating the class war on the lower classes.

    The bobos need to focus attention away from their increasingly exclusive and privileged economic status. Identify politics is useful for misdirecting the political energy of socially active people from issues that would threaten that privilege.

    A political alliance between Wall Street and feminists is not only natural, it will be increasingly necessary for the bobos as we slip further into decline.

    1. Andrew Watts

      I know that bashing liberals is a popular sport in America, but a liberal is not necessarily a bobo. Liberalism is a political ideology. Bobos are members of a social class which live typical bourgeois lives while they espouse progressive values.

      1. Waking Up

        What is the meaning of “liberal” in regards to an ideology at this point in time? I have met many people who declare themselves “liberal” because, for example, they are pro-choice all the while embracing Obama and his drone attacks which kills innocent children, spying on the entire world, judicial attacks against “whistleblowers”, lack of accountability for financial corruption, and too many other issues to mention at this point. There was a time when being a “liberal” meant you cared about your fellow man and were anti-endless wars, believed in the Constitution in regards to our civil liberties and rights, believed in justice not just for the wealthy but for the common man, cared about our environment and how it effects everyone in the world, and generally want a just and better world. That definition is long gone.

        I still believe in the original concepts from the past of what it meant to be a “liberal”. The terms “left” and “liberal” have now been so co-opted by the faux “liberals” AND conservative-authoritarian types as to be almost meaningless.

        1. Andrew Watts

          Without getting into an argument about semantics, I would state the opinion that democratic party apparatchiks and their followers hardly qualify as liberals. Moreover that’s life in a declining empire. Where political sentiments and popular terms have begun to lose their meaning.

  9. Aussie F

    These attacks are ‘state femminism’ with a vengeance. State feminism is a hollowed out caricature of genuine, grass roots, women’s movements. It’s blind to militarism and economic violence, it subordinates class to careerism, and targets change in areas that are peripheral to working women, and harmless to the 1 percent. It’s a great route to ‘respectability’ and financial success. In a more enlightened period we recognised who these people are – scabs.

    For a dose of real feminism:

    1. Girl, Smoove B will always be your man

      US feminists crack me up. You can get em fighting tooth and nail for decades over one word of one clause of one article of the CEDAW (‘means’ in 16(e)), and it never occurs to them to just go and ratify it all at once. The sassy dumbshits don’t even know their rights.

      So of course you can dupe them into mobbing any arbitrary chump, just whap him with a bignosed Jersey whore and hit RECORD. That’s how you shake them Day-to-Night Barbies around and make them say whatever you want.

  10. Moneta

    Why do so many people expect total perfection in 1 single individual?

    It reminds me of my first job when I was hired as a clerk and my boss was promoting me as an analyst… his supervisor asked how I could be good as an analyst if I could not maintain his filing cabinet properly? Little did he know that a multitude of PMs would just walk in and out of his office after work hours and take whatever they wanted and put it back wherever there was a slot.

    So many choices based on totally irrelevant variables.

  11. JerseyJeffersonian

    I liked how you said “yet”. If you do succeed in tieing a can to the tail of these entitled, upper-crust, pseudo-feminists through the acquisition of further information, I’m sure we would all be grateful if you would share it with us. Always good to know who the quislings are, don’t you think? It could be another Susan Komen Foundation moment…

  12. Susan the other

    Thank you Ms. Parramore. It was encouraging to read the good things about Spitzer. He’s somebody I have always admired for his straight talk. I think he can do that because he is so smart about his subject. He actually knows how to enforce the law, and why. Which is terrifying to Wall Street. Makes me wonder just what Spitzer’s relationship is to the quisling-in-chief (Obama). And speaking of quislings, it has been a long time since I’ve heard much to admire from the ranks of the feminists. A little maybe. But its pretty thin stuff. Where are they all in response to this hatchet job? I mean besides you and Yves.

  13. F. Beard

    By far, the Bible has more to say about injustice than sexual purity, most of which is in the New Testament where believers are held to a very high standard in purity, because they are indwelt by the Holy Spirit while Old Testament believers were not.

    And as the New Testament makes clear, fornication is a sin against oneself –

    Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    – so it is generally no one else’s business while injustice clearly is!

  14. anon y'mouse

    without reading this, I am suspicious of the entire chain of events regarding Spitzer.

    why did the two women involved commit suicide?

    his being cast as the “hero underdog champion of justice for the overreach of financiers” is highly suspect to me.

    as we move along, the propaganda used to enlist our belief in or backing of politicians has to become more sophisticated. look at Obama’s campaign as underdog for a pattern. it would be so much better to have the “honest politician” who was already caught out in his sexual peccadillos and who seemingly went after the big guys but was brought low by them to instill trust.

    call it the extremely paranoid position if you will.

    1. katzenklavier

      “without reading this, I am suspicious of the entire chain of events regarding Spitzer.”

      Without reading your comment, I doubt you had anything worth saying.

      1. anon y'mouse

        without= my instinctual reaction to the topic.

        not that I will never read it and make a more “informed” decision.

    2. Nathanael

      Are you confused? The suspicious “suicides” were related to the Vitter case, the Lousiana Senator.

  15. Kim Kaufman

    Yes, Spitzer is in bed with hedge funds who want to charterize schools (see Diane Ravitch recent posts). He also thinks Social Security benefits need to be cut. Yes, he has gone after Wall Street sort of – but is that ideological or perhaps personal? Simply a careerist move? Tough choice between flawed choices. At least Spitzer’s wife apparently had the dignity to leave him – unlike Weiner’s wife.

    From afar in Los Angeles, it also seems the girls are being sock puppets for Bloomberg hag Christine Quinn. Sam Seder was talking de Blasio as the best guy today.

    Take a listen to Phil Ochs’ “Love Me I’m a Liberal” on YouTube.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, Spitzer’s wife has not left him. They are most decidedly still married.

      Spitzer has a rich father and the widely-held belief is she is waiting for him to die and Spitzer to get his inheritance before she divorces him. So much for her being principled, as you seem to allege.

      As for Ravich, she’s a one issue person and I must note originally supported charter schools and No Child Left Behind when she had a seat at the table in the Bush and Clinton adminsitrations. So now that she’s no longer in power and is in academia, she recants. How terribly convenient.

      And since she’s a mere “research professor” at NYU, which has the some of the most grotesque feather-bedding among university administrators in the US, her silence on escalating higher educational costs and the role of rising levels and even more rapidly rising administrator pay packages is noteworthy. I don’t see any evidence she’s ever taken a position that required any courage at the time she took it. She’s safe “leading edge liberal conventional wisdom”.

      1. charles sereno

        Yves, I couldn’t agree more with you that Diane Ravitch is a leading edge liberal. I bought her book and lent it out with approval. Reckless courage is something else. It’s stirring. You’re appreciated.

      2. CB

        The Dail News reports that Eliot and Silda Spitzer have been living apart. The rumor I read has her waiting till after the election to divorce him. In any case, I don’t know either of them and nothing of their living arrangements nor, I’m guessing, does anyone here.

          1. CB

            I read the article. You’re baldly misrepresenting. She isn’t quoted as saying she didn’t want sex. Your assumption.

        1. borkman

          Also, Daily News has been running Dem party line in this race.

          Separated is not divorced. And the idea that her not divorcing him after 5 years has to do with political Spitzer’s ambitions is hard to buy. He had the TV show gig, wasn’t planning to go back into politics until this last minute Comptroller office bid.

          1. CB

            We’ll live, we’ll see, but he won’t be my Comptroller. I live in NJ and I recognize a jerk when I see one. You know, bully boy Christie. Beloved of bully worshipers everywhere. I wonder if they dream of kissing the whip.

            1. Nathanael

              Comptrollers are supposed to spend their time attacking the Mayor. (Or Governor.) It’s basically their *job*.

              In short, for comptroller, you don’t want someone who will bully the little people — but you do want someone who will assault the powerful. And that is Spitzer all over.

              By all accounts he treated the prostitutes he hired pretty well. He reserves his attacks for those in power.

          2. CB

            Having read various articles over the years about the Spitzers, I find it easy to believe Silda would wait until after the election. We’ll live, we’ll see.

            Spitzer’s was an interesting narrative, to a point, and at one time I read whatever I could find. After awhile, of course, his story got old. He does have some interesting ideas and I found his articles for Slate very readable. He doesn’t seem to have much of an attention span and I’m wondering how long, if he won the election, before his attention moved elsewhere. Eliot may be one of those short attention span hyper actives who can’t stay in place very long. (Which might also suggest a short sexual attention span.)

            People are what they are and gussying them up to fit your own agenda doesn’t change them, at all.

  16. casino implosion

    The other day I was skimming some article at Salon called “How To Stop The Wingnuts On Immigration, Guns and Climate Change” and all of a sudden I said to myself, holy shit, I agree with the wingnuts on two out of three, and I’ve always considered myself a leftist.

    As a New Yorker, I’d vote for Attila the Hun if he’d promise to give it to Wall Street hard, and the yuppie feminists can go pound sand.

  17. Jeff N

    NOW & Planned Parenthood are definitely on the wrong side of the issues here. is there anyone left that I can still believe in? :(

  18. Banger

    We have a politics of illusion in this country. Nothing is as it seems. The left is the right and the right is the left and neither one really is either one and both bow to money.

    Obama didn’t betray the left the left betrayed itself into becoming yet another bureaucratic layer.

  19. Nathanael

    Many feminists believe that sex work should be legal, regulated, and above all *unionized*, which is generally the position taken by the sex workers themselves.

  20. unperson

    fakeLeftism started decades ago. The plutocrats funded large nonprofits such as the ford, rockefeller and getty foundations, and then used them to mold, shape, evolve a new kind of leftism, one oriented towards identity politics. This pseudoLeftism, funded by the rich, gave money to the ‘right kind’ of academia, activists, and writers, those who would shift the focus of leftism from bread and butter class war economics leftism, and towards race, gender, anti-white leftism.

    This is the primary political dynamic of american politics over the past few decades.

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