Skip to comments.Ron Paul on Eliot Spitzer: He acted badly but didn't deserve this
Posted on 03/15/2008 9:13:01 AM PDT by pissant
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), he of the quixotic GOP presidential campaign and unique policy positions, is never one to be shy about his opinions. Take the case of fallen New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D), whose political career fell apart this week after his liaisons with high-priced call girls became public. Spitzer resigned his office effective Monday.
Most politicians from both sides of the aisle publicly (at least) offered condolences for Spitzer and his poor family, including his three daughters, but didn't of course defend Spitzer's atrocious behavior.
But for Paul, Spitzer's downfall at the hands of a Justice Dept. investigation shows government at its worst. Yes, Spitzer climbed to power on the backs of political enemies he destroyed, making him not a swell guy, but he didn't deserve what happened to him. The FBI should have never been allowed to listen in to his phone call in the first place, according to the Texas Republican.
Here's the statement Paul made on the House floor last night. It's worth reading, at least for the enlightenment it gives into Paul's view of the world, which basically comes down to who controls the money:
"Madam Speaker, it has been said that 'he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword.' And in the case of Eliot Spitzer, this couldn't be more true. In his case it's the political sword, as his enemies rejoice in his downfall. Most people, it seems, believe he got exactly what he deserved.
"The illegal tools of the state brought Spitzer down, but think of all the harm done by Spitzer in using the same tools against so many other innocent people. He practiced what could be termed 'economic McCarthyism,' using illegitimate government power to build his political career on the ruined lives of others.
"No matter how morally justified his comeuppance may be, his downfall demonstrates the worst of our society. The possibility of uncovering personal moral wrongdoing is never a justification for the government to spy on our every move and to participate in sting operations.
"For government to entice a citizen to break a law with a sting operation that is, engaging in activities that a private citizen is prohibited by law from doing is unconscionable and should clearly be illegal.
"Though Spitzer used the same tools to destroy individuals charged with economic crimes that ended up being used against him, gloating over his downfall should not divert our attention from the fact that the government spying on American citizens is unworthy of a country claiming respect for liberty and the Fourth Amendment.
"Two wrongs do not make a right. Two wrongs make it doubly wrong.
"Sacrifice of our personal privacy has been ongoing for decades but has rapidly accelerated since 9/11. Before 9/11, the unstated goal of collecting revenue was the real reason for the erosion of our financial privacy. When 19 suicidal maniacs attacked us on 9/11, our country became convinced that further sacrifice of personal and financial privacy was required for our security.
"The driving force behind this ongoing sacrifice of our privacy has been fear and the emotional effect of war rhetoric war on drugs, war against terrorism and the war against Third World nations in the Middle East who are claimed to be the equivalent to Hitler and Nazi Germany.
"But the real reason for all this surveillance is to build the power of the state. It arises from a virulent dislike of free people running their own lives and spending their own money. Statists always demand control of the people and their money.
"Recently we've been told that this increase in the already intolerable invasion of our privacy was justified because the purpose was to apprehend terrorists. We were told that the massive amounts of information being collected on Americans would only be used to root out terrorists. But as we can see today, this monitoring of private activities can also be used for political reasons. We should always be concerned when the government accumulates information on innocent citizens.
"Spitzer was brought down because he legally withdrew cash from a bank not because he committed a crime. This should prompt us to reassess and hopefully reverse this trend of pervasive government intrusion in our private lives.
"We need no more Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act! No more Violent Radicalization & Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Acts! No more torture! No more Military Commissions Act! No more secret prisons and extraordinary rendition! No more abuse of habeas corpus! No more Patriot Acts!
"What we need is more government transparency and more privacy for the individual!"
I think he has a problem of Gov’t tracking financial transactions of your money.
What’s he talking about? What entrapment?
Now if he wants to talk about eliminating this Orwellian law requiring banks to snitch on us when we spend our own cash, I’m listening.
"They tried to make me go to rehab
I said no, no, no."
Objectively speaking, what Spitzer did was really not that bad. But he had been such a dick for so long to so many people for so long, the line to kick him when he is down stretches out the door and around the block.
Moral of the story: Don’t be a dick.
Wonder what Ron Paul’s client number is?
That’s fine and dandy, but the laws governing banking transactions were around long before 911
I hope for his sake he does. It's his only hope as a human to join the human race.
This is the exact argument being used in all the libertarian blogs.
That and the fact that it exposed him to extortion and manipulation by those whose services he was using. For example, granting of pardons.
Be nice to people on the way up ‘cause you may meet them again on the way down.
Ron Paul just lost half his base, the 9/11 truthers
Yeah, its actually very disturbing that we are watched so closely. If the “watchers” were beyond corruption it could be ok, but they aren’t. I wonder how many blackmail attempts, insider trading and other “nice” activiites have been by those who get free access to our financial transactions, emails and other private info sources.
This scum bag, cum Czar, (no pun intended) got his comeuppance he so justly deserved and as there IS a GOD there is a distinct possibility he may become a statistic of the justice system he so abused in prosecuting and "persecuting" so many others--for no other reasons than personal aggrandizement and political gains.
Many CEOs and Presidents of large corporations have to agree to such a contract stipulation. Why shouldn't our "public servants" expect to be scrutinized at least as much as the rest of us?
And Ron Paul standing up for him puts him under the microscope, as far as I'm concerned.
tell that to his wife and children, whom he has disgraced and publicly humiliated.
Tell that to the founders, who understood that freedom cannot exist without the moral rectitude worthy of it.
The term "objectively" implies some unbiased perspective; I challenge you on that. Your opinion is biased toward amorality, which is by no means "objective," it is immoral axiomatically.
For all we know, his wife gave him consent. I know some people whose spouses don’t have much interest and have no problem with them engaging in occasional “breaks”.
He set himself up for blackmail, you idiot.
This was hardly a “sting.”
And I'll challenge the objectivity of any "moral absolutes" argument.