Burt Prelutsky

One man’s tragedy is another man’s farce. But, then, I always thought that W. Somerset’s Maugham’s “Rain” would have played far better as a comedy than as an overwrought melodrama. I am referring, of course, to the plight of Eliot Spitzer. Boy, talk about buyer’s remorse!

Frankly, I was delighted to read about the governor’s recent downfall, and not because he’s a prominent liberal. Okay, have it your way -- not just because he’s a prominent liberal. It’s because he’s a big phony and also because he built his own reputation by gleefully bringing down people who did very much the same thing he did.

Because Spitzer is extremely wealthy and because he was the editor of the Harvard Law Review, he felt himself impervious to criticism, let alone cataclysm. Think of him as God with a comb-over.

Even those who supported his political aspirations knew him to be a totally arrogant human being. I even suspect that part of the prostitution ring’s appeal to him was its pompous name, Emperors Club VIP. One wonders if Spitzer wrote off the thousands of dollars he spent canoodling with the hired help, by identifying them as (monkey) business expenses or, better yet, as club dues.

For all of his 48 years on this earth, everything had come pretty easy for the guy. But instead of being grateful for his good fortune, one only had to look at him, cold-eyed and glowering from one dais or another, a face like a clenched fist, to know he felt he was entitled. Some people would say that it’s not fair to judge someone by his looks. But I say there’s a difference between judging someone by the shape of his nose or the color of his eyes and judging him by the look he chooses to present to the world at large. Spitzer always looked like he was posing for a statue. All that was ever missing was the horse and the raised sword.

Time magazine once named Spitzer “Crusader of the Year” and, just last year, this self-righteous ninny convinced 69% of New York voters to elect him governor. But, alas, Time is the rag that continues to name various despots Man of the Year when they mean Newsmaker or even Nuisance of the Year, and New York is the place that thinks nothing of electing the likes of Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton to the U.S. Senate.