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In Defense of Dr. Laura's Comments about the Spitzers
GlennSacks.com ^ | 3-17-08 | Glenn Sacks

Posted on 03/17/2008 10:04:48 AM PDT by PercivalWalks

Dr. Laura is taking an enormous amount of heat from feminists over her comments concerning the Eliot Spitzer/Silda Spitzer situation. For example, in the Salon Broadsheet blog post Dr. Laura to Silda: It's all your fault!, feminist blogger Kate Harding writes:

"Conservative radio host Laura Schlessinger has offered us a new theory on Silda Wall Spitzer: She drove her husband to cheat in the first place.

"In the last week, she has been on Hannity & Colmes, Larry King Live and the Today show, offering opinions like this:

"'And when the wife does not focus in on the needs and the feelings, sexually, personally, to make him feel like a man, to make him feel like a success, to make him feel like her hero, he's very susceptible to the charm of some other woman making him feel what he needs. And these days, women don't spend a lot of time thinking about how they can give their men what they need ... I hold women accountable for tossing out perfectly good men by not treating them with the love and kindness and respect and attention they need.'

"Gee, what a breath of fresh air.

"Now, Schlessinger spewing insane antiwoman vitriol is hardly news in itself....Women are always messing up their own lives! Look at Silda Spitzer. The woman forced her husband to hire a 22-year-old prostitute! You can build a lucrative career if you're a woman willing to tell it like that."

I'm not sure I would go quite as far as Dr. Laura does here, but I believe that the Salon/Harding criticism goes way overboard, and is unfair. For one, Dr. Laura made it very clear that she was not speaking specifically about the Spitzer case and their marriage. She made it clear that she was only speaking in general. And in general, I think her comments are fair.

Let's speculate a bit about the Spitzer marriage in light of Dr. Laura's comments. It is certainly true that the relentless media script of Elliott the villain and Silda his victimized, betrayed, humiliated wife may very well be true. Perhaps she has been a devoted, loving wife who has done everything reasonably possible to have a happy marriage.

However, there are other scripts which are also possible. Perhaps they did not have a good marriage. Perhaps they have drifted apart. Perhaps they have very little sex or none at all. Perhaps they often fight. Perhaps, as is not uncommon in marriages, Silda is critical of Elliott, and he feels that somehow he can never do anything right. Perhaps Silda was angry at him quite legitimately, but over things that Eliot could no longer change. I know that critics of mine who read this will say "There goes Sacks, figuring out a way that it's the woman's fault again." On one level, that is fair. On the other hand, we all know people who are in marriages like the one I just described. There's no reason to dismiss the possibility that the Spitzer marriage may be one of them.

Let's say for the sake of discussion that the above scenario is more or less correct. Let's look at how it would've looked to Eliot Spitzer. You are enormously successful, and are understandably proud of your success. You have worked very hard, have taken risks and public criticism, and have risen to one of the most prestigious offices in the United States. You're not sexually the young stallion you once were, but you're still relatively young, and certainly not ready to be finished sexually.

Your sex life with your wife is very limited. You can't seem to get her interested in you and you can't seem to communicate with her the way you would like to. You don't want to break up the marriage for a variety of reasons. It would greatly reduce your access to your children, who you love. It would be a big financial hit. It would be bad for your public image.

You've already seen another prominent New York politician, Rudy Giuliani, go through a divorce and it was a disaster. In Giuliani's case, he remained married to his wife, with whom he was estranged, and moved on to a relationship with another woman. Giuliani's overall behavior, while not admirable, was more or less defensible. Yet when things blew up in the Giuliani case, nobody was interested in his side, and even the fact that he was unfairly cut off from his children was given very little attention. The scandal may have even cost him the Republican presidential nomination. (To learn more about this, see my column In Defense of Giuliani’s Family Life, Providence Journal, 9/21/07)

You tell yourself you don't want to do anything to go down that road. Your kids don't deserve it, you don't deserve it, and your wife does not deserve it. On the other hand, you are lonely and sexually deprived. You're the goddamn governor of New York for crying out loud, yet everybody in the state gets to have sex but you. The waiters at the restaurant you frequent. The limo driver. The delivery boy. They all have sex, but you don't. It's infuriating. It's not fair. You want to do something to change it.

It would be very easy for me and others like me -- meaning men who have been married a long time, have good marriages, and have never cheated on their wives -- to blame Eliot Spitzer and moralize at him. I could easily condemn the behavior and say, "My father has been married for 45 years and never cheated on my mother, I have been married for 15 years and have never cheated on my wife. It's not the kind of thing we do. We're better than that, we're better than Spitzer."

But one thing I have sadly learned is that it's not always so easy and it's not always so simple. Yes, I have never cheated on my wife, but on the other hand it has been very, very easy not to. I've never been tempted, never been close, not because I'm a saint but because I'm in a good marriage. (I will add, though, that I do have self-discipline, and I do occasionally have contempt for men who create big problems for themselves because they are unable to control their sex drives.)

Getting back to Dr. Laura, what she has stated regarding the Spitzer case is a common theme of hers, and it's a good one. She says -- correctly -- that the modern wife often voices complaints about her husband and expects him to change, to do more for her, to be more attentive, to do more to fill her needs, etc. Sometimes this is perfectly appropriate. Yet when men ask the same from their wives, it is often portrayed as the man being excessively demanding, unfair, sexist, Neanderthal, or even emotionally abusive. It is a double standard, and one which hurts many marriages.

Dr. Laura's audience and readership are largely female, and one of her main goals is keeping marriages together. I have listened to her on a fair number of occasions, and it would be very wrong to claim that she wants women to stay in bad or abusive marriages. However, she is not hesitant at all to tell women that sometimes they are the ones who are causing problems in their marriages.

I don't always agree with Dr. Laura, and sometimes I may agree with her 100% and disagree with her 100% all within the span of a minute. But her central theme -- that both men and women need to pay attention to what their spouses need and want, and that both men and women can ruin a marriage by being inattentive or cold or distant or self-absorbed--is the truth.

I have often heard from readers who have told me that Dr. Laura's advice on these issues, including her books, have helped their marriages. Given the enormous pain and destruction caused by divorce, this is very important work. Dr. Laura deserves better than to be crucified for voicing the truth--in some marital breakdowns, it is women who have harmed their marriages and driven their husbands away.

Glenn Sacks, www.GlennSacks.com


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: drlaura; eliotspitzer; sildaspitzer; spitzer

1 posted on 03/17/2008 10:04:50 AM PDT by PercivalWalks
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To: PercivalWalks
Dr. Laura is taking an enormous amount of heat from feminists EVERYONE over her comments concerning the Eliot Spitzer/Silda Spitzer situation.

As well she should!

2 posted on 03/17/2008 10:07:06 AM PDT by top 2 toe red (Nope. No capital letters for the clintons, bill or hill, ever again.)
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To: PercivalWalks
Yes, I have never cheated on my wife, but on the other hand it has been very, very easy not to. I've never been tempted, never been close, not because I'm a saint but because I'm in a good marriage. (I will add, though, that I do have self-discipline, and I do occasionally have contempt for men who create big problems for themselves because they are unable to control their sex drives.)

So a bad marriage helps create the cheat? I don't think that is a fair conclusion.

3 posted on 03/17/2008 10:10:04 AM PDT by fml
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To: PercivalWalks

The wife is the SHERIFF of the family;s morals usually......now we know why Dina McGreevey was standing by her Gay American (and smiling when she came out)....they had been involved with their limo driver, Ted Pedersen in a MENAGE a TROIS!!!!!!!!! GOOD GRIEF!!!!


4 posted on 03/17/2008 10:12:44 AM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion.....The Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: Ann Archy
"...now we know why Dina McGreevey was..."

We don't know squat. McGreevey is ruthless little worm in a nasty divorce battle. So one of his boy-toys alleges Dina was in the bed with them... doesn't make it true. It is just the sort of thing that McGreevey would commission someone to do. Remember, we haven't seen the depositions made under oath, we've only heard what boy-toy told the press. Always ask: Cui bono?
5 posted on 03/17/2008 10:20:03 AM PDT by RightOnTheLeftCoast ([Fred Thompson/Clarence Thomas 2008!])
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To: top 2 toe red
"Dr. Laura is taking an enormous amount of heat from EVERYONE over her comments concerning the Eliot Spitzer/Silda Spitzer situation. ...As well she should!"

She makes a valid point, though it's by no means universally applicable. If the marital bed doesn't hop, some men wander. Of course, some men are Bill Clinton and will grab whatever walks by. I suspect Spitzer is of the latter type. It seems to go with his naked lust for power and dominance.
6 posted on 03/17/2008 10:23:15 AM PDT by RightOnTheLeftCoast ([Fred Thompson/Clarence Thomas 2008!])
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To: PercivalWalks

And sometimes they just prefer their own mothers.


7 posted on 03/17/2008 10:31:49 AM PDT by Excellence (Bacon Bits Make Great Confetti)
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To: RightOnTheLeftCoast

There’s a TRIAL!!! Teddy said they SHARED a hotel room when all the other staffers thought it was weird. All be be revealed to show DINA and Jim and Ted are IMMORAL CREEPS!!!


8 posted on 03/17/2008 10:32:03 AM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion.....The Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: Ann Archy
"There’s a TRIAL!!! Teddy said they SHARED a hotel room when all the other staffers thought it was weird. All be be revealed to show DINA and Jim and Ted are IMMORAL CREEPS!!!"

Immoral creeps, to be sure. But I'll be amazed if this ever makes it to court. What you're witnessing now is the two parties sliming each other. It's called a show of teeth. Next up might be something like Dina alleging child molestation on the part of McGreevey. That's how the game is played.

Calm down.
9 posted on 03/17/2008 10:35:44 AM PDT by RightOnTheLeftCoast ([Fred Thompson/Clarence Thomas 2008!])
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To: PercivalWalks
Thank God my loving wife understands Dr. Laura's comments 100%.

No greener pastures for me, thank you very much.

And yes, I understand it's a two-way street and I do indeed do my part. :)

10 posted on 03/17/2008 10:44:38 AM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: PercivalWalks

I heard (cant remmeber the source) that his wife DID NOT WANT him to resign from office...

That, to me, seems a little odd- Did she think he should go to marriage counciling and a short stint in ‘rehab’ and it would make it all better so she could stay in the Gov. Mansion?

She should have accompanied him to the news conference, and as soon as the cameras started rolling whacked him upside the head so hard he fell over.


11 posted on 03/17/2008 10:49:42 AM PDT by Mr. K (Some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help)
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To: PercivalWalks
But what about women who hang onto their cheating husbands because of their own greed for money, power and status?

Hillary/Bill Clinton

Dina/Jim McGreevey - WIFE'S THREE-WAY SEX STUD: EX-DRIVER
(though now divorcing)

Silda/Eliot Spitzer

The Governor's Mansion or Whitehouse is one powerful aphrodisiac.

12 posted on 03/17/2008 10:52:40 AM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: PercivalWalks
Dr. Laura was on a Sacramento station the day after this claim was broadcast in the media.

She said that her remarks were regarding married couples in general. She said she doesn't know the Spitzers, knows nothing about them or their marriage. The media portrayed her comments on marriage as a commentary on the Spitzers.

13 posted on 03/17/2008 10:54:51 AM PDT by Lizavetta
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To: PercivalWalks

Both sides can take blame.

I have seen idiotic male freinds cheat on sweet wonderful women and I would even grant men are the more frequent abusers.

—But—

I have also seen Mr. Nice guy get married to sweet young long-haired beauty who immediately porks on 50 pounds, start screaming and swearing like a sailor, and cuts off her hair because all her (girl) freinds tell her “it’s so cute!”

Then hubby wonders what happened to the petite young long-haired beauty and how did he end up married to a short fat guy.

Then she takes him to the cleaners in court and THEN loses 50 pounds and starts dating, and wonders why she stays single- let’s face it women- we can see whats coming by then.

Admit it girls- this has happened to your friend (or you)


14 posted on 03/17/2008 11:01:13 AM PDT by Mr. K (Some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help)
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To: Mr. K
I will 100% guarantee that Eliot Spitzer NEVER thought he was "cheating on his wife." I have no doubt that he loved his wife and probably still had a nice sex life with her. But he had a secret, perverted urge to have sex with tiny young girls. Maybe even saw the whores to keep himself from being tempted by his own daughters. This is a pathology, not a simple desire to "go get what the wife isn't giving you." Silda Spitzer could not magically turn herself into a tiny young girl!

Sometimes Dr. Laura is an idiot. Some men are just pigs and perverts, and they hide it very well from their unsuspecting wives and families.

15 posted on 03/17/2008 11:10:06 AM PDT by Dems_R_Losers (Waiting for 2012 to vote for an actual Republican)
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To: Dems_R_Losers

Funny thing is in my circle I have known more women that cheated on their husbands ( several with no good reason - as if there is any ) than the men.


16 posted on 03/17/2008 11:36:19 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: Dems_R_Losers

You could be right! But then again you could be wrong. See how that goes?

REMEMBER I started my rant blaming MEN for the majority of it- but the other side of the story is rarely expressed, and when Dr. Laura did it, she was railed for it.


17 posted on 03/17/2008 11:53:52 AM PDT by Mr. K (Some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help)
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To: PercivalWalks

Talk about vitriol! I was on a thread about this last week and you wouldn’t believe the posts!

Then people started describing their own private lives! Good grief Charlie Brown!!


18 posted on 03/17/2008 9:46:37 PM PDT by potlatch
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To: top 2 toe red
in DRL's life, women must be blamed for everything...even cheating scum husbands, because as we all know, men are just animals that need careful "feeding" .....

and I am very , very sure DRL would also say that husbands should be blamed if their wives cheat...afterall, they must not be very good in bed...

and it follows, children should be blamed if they're parents beat them and women who are raped and killed must have "asked" for it....

19 posted on 03/18/2008 11:19:47 PM PDT by cherry
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To: top 2 toe red

Don’t flatter yourself. You’re not “EVERYONE.” And you might want to try READING a thread before flying off the handle. Makes you look smarter.


20 posted on 03/18/2008 11:38:54 PM PDT by L.N. Smithee (That's not an "O" in the Obama campaign's logo -- it's a ZERO)
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To: cherry
in DRL's life, women must be blamed for everything...even cheating scum husbands, because as we all know, men are just animals that need careful "feeding" .....

and I am very , very sure DRL would also say that husbands should be blamed if their wives cheat...afterall, they must not be very good in bed...

and it follows, children should be blamed if they're parents beat them and women who are raped and killed must have "asked" for it....

You are speaking out of ignorance of where she stands on each of these issues. Doesn't that bother you? Or do you always let Salon.com do your thinking for you?

21 posted on 03/19/2008 12:10:35 AM PDT by L.N. Smithee (That's not an "O" in the Obama campaign's logo -- it's a ZERO)
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To: L.N. Smithee
I offer my sympathies to you, FRiend.

Here you are at a lonely, late hour, replying to days old threads with what you suppose are pithy little insults, defending an obnoxious-chauvinistic-sham-of-a-radio-doctor-woman.

So sad, that you cannot find a woman/wife that shares your admiration for your antiquated, misguided views.

Sucks to be you, eh?

22 posted on 03/19/2008 9:08:57 AM PDT by top 2 toe red (Nope. No capital letters for the clintons, bill or hill, ever again.)
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To: top 2 toe red
So sad, that you cannot find a woman/wife that shares your admiration for your antiquated, misguided views.

It's not sad at all. What would be sad would be if instead of awaiting the divine guidance to my intellectual equal, I settled for a rhymes-with-witch who doesn't know how to do her own research and just repeats poorly-conceived, reactionary agitprop that already fits her preconceived notions.

No regrets in leisure pour moi. Shove your sympathy.

23 posted on 03/20/2008 12:59:58 AM PDT by L.N. Smithee (That's not an "O" in the Obama campaign's logo -- it's a ZERO)
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To: L.N. Smithee
By all means, you hang in there...I'm sure your wait will be rewarded and you will eventually get exactly what you deserve.
24 posted on 03/20/2008 12:32:14 PM PDT by top 2 toe red (Nope. No capital letters for the clintons, bill or hill, ever again.)
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