LLR Pages

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Lew Rockwell Is Right and Wrong About Spitzer

Libertarian-conservative political blogger, columnist, and commentator (not to mention President of the Mises Institute) Lew Rockwell opined about the Eliot Spitzer scandal on his blog early this morning, in which he noted the following:

Eliot Spitzer is not a good guy. He was, after all, a prosecutor. But that doesn't mean he was targeted for legitimate reasons by the Bush administration. First, from a states-rights standpoint, it is disturbing to see the central government bring down the governor of a state for unconstitutional victimless crimes. Yesterday on cable tv, we were assured time and time again that the FBI and US attorneys do not do political prosecutions. In fact, that is their major job. Spitzer was not 'caught up' in an investigation of a prostitution ring. The ring was caught up in a political investigation of Spitzer. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, but still the state-media two-minute hate has its worrisome aspects. Exactly why was he targeted for destruction? Not for his sins, we can be sure.

Lew is absolutely right to point out that Spitzer "is not a good guy." After all, that mongrel's record of abuses of power as a New York State Attorney General and a governor of the state precedes him. And yes, he was a prosecutor. That much is true.

But Lew gets it wrong on this point. He claims that the federal government didn't target Spitzer for legitimate reasons. First of all, at this point in the game, we don't know that. Unless Lew has some special inside knowledge of which I'm not aware, he cannot possibly know that.

Secondly, Spitzer spent a good remainder of his life persecuting and crucifying individuals, entrepeneurs, and other innocent individuals, all the while wielding so much power while being at the helm of the state. No prosecutor or state official was willing to take criminal action against him for his abuses of power at the state level. It wasn't until this scandal that people from all aisles of the political spectrum were calling for his head on a silver platter. Who was going to prosecute him at the state level? As far as I can tell (and what everyone knows), that was never going to happen, even if we wanted it to happen.

Thirdly, Lew points out that the Feds were possibly investigating him for political corruption, not for his acts of cavorting with known prostitutes employed at the widely-publicized Emperor's VIP Club. That is true. He has been probed long before the mainstream press and media got wind of this controversy, and that even goes for the prostitution ring as well. However, the reason I believe that so many investors and libertarian individuals are calling for his crucifixion is because of how he had engaged in these state-sanctioned vile acts of violence against innocent entrepeneurs, individuals, firms, etc.

This is where Lew gets it wrong: as long as the evil state exists along with its oppressive apparatus, Spitzer is to be held to the same standard as many law-abiding businesses and individuals are expected. As long as the legitimate state exists, our rulers, in the interim, need to play by the same rules that they've foisted upon us. I realize that will never happen, and perhaps I'm dreaming when I say that, but that's the way the cookie crumbles.

Moreover, his states' rights argument does not pass political muster. States, by their own nature, do NOT have rights; only individuals possess rights. This is the problem that I have with the ideology of federalism, because paleolibertarians treat this as if this construct carries some legitimacy of some kind, when it clearly does not.

However, that does not mean that I support laws against prostitution and financial privacy. I share Lew's concerns regarding those policies, and that is strictly why those edicts need to be repealed as soon as possible. Individuals should be free to keep their financial data from the prying eyes of the vile, demonic state and pursue any free market transaction, such as the exchange of money for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with the member of the fair sex.

I fathom perfectly where Lew is going with his concern. However, nothwithstanding the fact that I oppose the state in every area of our economy, especially at the state and local levels, I'm making this incident an exception and not the rule. Moreover, I don't feel sorry for Spitzer, given the fact that he has made his bed; now, his forced resignation notwithstanding, he must lie in it.