Mar 18, 2008

The rats breathe a sigh, and party hearty

It's taken me awhile to post my own take on the Eliot mess. But here are a few observations from the Capital City:

* Having been embedded downtown on the very week that the big news broke, what struck me the most was the raw look of shock on peoples' faces as they walked around the streets. Although nothing near the level, significance or scope; it reminded me a bit of 9/11.

* Spitzer was poised to be that rare breed of politician, one whom rank & file members of all parties were willing to throw their hopes behind with a united goal of actually making fundamental change in both policy and in the way things get done in government. To have that goodwill come crashing down in a ball of flames like this only serves to further plunge that dagger of cynicism into the hearts and minds of the working stiff.

* We now have a chorus of warm fuzzies rising from the Capital, fawning over the prospects of the new Governor Paterson being more of a "uniter," or "a guy we can all work together with" -- as opposed to The Steamroller, who was hellbent on chasing these rats from the wharf and wasn't concerned about who he pissed off along the way. I'm not sure that we can take comfort in that picture.

The translation one can all make from this new lovefest, of course, is that the long-running Albany way-of-doing-business can now feel more safe and secure in its power hold. Isn't that a nice thought?

New York State government is a failure that needs to be fixed. Ths status quo of institutional corruption and a bunch of suits running around -- sound-biting us with 19th century policy-fixes to solve 21st century problems -- is slowly eating away at the legacy bedrock foundation of this somewhat great state of ours. As we await our Godot to save us, we continue to give a free pass to the players that bring home the bacon to our local districts, all while turning a blind eye to the fact that such practices are bankrupting the state as a whole.

Couple all of that with the the reports of Wall Street CEO's celebrating Spitzer's demise with champagne toasts. "The Sheriff is dead, it looks like we can get back to the business of anarchy in Dodge City." A week later, we watch as Bear Stearns is sold for $2 share at the very minute it is listed on the NYSE at $30 per. Why do I think that the ones who cashed out at something higher were the ones partying the most?

We don't need a uniter; what we need is a bomb-thrower.

I realize that I might be a minority of one here; but personally, I'd let this little whore-mongering problem slide if the guy could have delivered on the pest control promises.