Elections More Important Than Call Girls

The woes of New York's resigned Governor Eliot Spitzer have been much in the news this past week, and much on the mind of our contributor Ben Stein:

Like every other American, I was stunned by the fall of Elliot Spitzer. Of course I feel terrible for his family and for him. He fought the law and the law won.

But something sinister is happening here and it scares me.

Governor Spitzer was elected by an immense majority in the third most populous state. He got millions of votes. Now he's out of a job and in disgrace, and a man the voters did not vote for as governor is governor.

Why? Because some nosy civil servants at the IRS started a fishing expedition against Spitzer because they suspected he might be moving around money for political bribes.

So they wiretapped him and they found he was using the money he was moving around to buy the services of prostitutes.

Now, this is illegal in most states, and clearly it is in New York and in DC. But let's be honest: Men hire prostitutes by the thousands, maybe tens of thousands, every day They also bring women across state lines for sex every day.

The punishment for the men who hire hookers is usually nil, or at most a small fine close to what you'd get for a traffic ticket.

However, in Governor Spitzer's case, he got outed, humiliated, disgraced in front of his family, and then the voters lost the guy they voted for.

It is deeply scary to me that a few employees of the federal executive branch can start a train rolling that has such immense effects on the electoral process. Basically, a few career civil servants have nullified the will of the voters of the Empire State (over something clearly wrong, I don't doubt that, but it's not a political crime, not treason, not terrorism).

Having elected officials kicked out of office by appointed officials is a very dicey proposition. Over hiring prostitutes?

I strongly suspect that if the feds followed a hundred young male elected officials around for a year, they would find some sexual hanky panky among a lot of them, and some money or gifts changing hands often. If the feds prosecuted them all, it would basically mean that federal prosecutors have a veto over the electoral process.

That is dangerous.

More will be revealed but it all scares me. Elections are a lot more important than call girls.