It was a mutual love fest earlier this week, as a handful of religious leaders from Crown Heights announced their forgiveness, acceptance, and endorsement of disgraced ex-Governor Eliot Spitzer.
One reverend was even willing to go so far as to draw an analogy between Spitzer’s personal struggles to that of one Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Under the glow of a dangling chandelier in Brooklyn’s First Baptist Church this morning, Eliot Spitzer was forgiven.
Mr. Spitzer’s candidacy in the city comptroller’s race has often been branded as a quest for political redemption even as the former governor tries not to discuss the prostitution scandal that derailed his political career five years ago. But the topic of conversation was not up to him this morning.
“The road to redemption is paved with forgiveness,” Reverend Daryl Bloodsaw told the audience as they piled into the packed, humid room. “He’s come back to say he has unfinished business.”
The sense of redemption, and overcoming personal issues, was discussed at length by Mr. Spitzer’s endorsers, who referred to that journey as an integral part of their Christian faith. (Mr. Spitzer is Jewish). Reverend Johnny Ray Youngblood saw similarities between Mr. Spitzer and civil rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr.
“When we as African-Americans look at our own history, our own Dr. Martin Luther King, our own Dr. Adam Clayton Powell. There has always been something in a person’s life that others sought to use against their greater good,” Rev. Youngblood told reporters. “We think this is just another example of that, we would say, even in white.”
Of course, redemption for his personal issues presumably refers to Spitzer’s prostitute scandal. But as The Lid reminds us, Spitzer was being investigated for a stunning abuse of power long before hookers ever entered the conversation.
It’s been more than five years since New York State Governor Elliot Spitzer announced he was resigning the office because he got caught going to hookers. Along with the salacious details and the jokes about client #9 and the former Gov. wearing black socks during his trysts, there were revelations about Spitzer at the time that had nothing to do with the Governor’s use of high-priced women of negotiated affection. The Governor was involved in a “Nixonian” abuse of power targeting political opponents. And the only thing which prevented the ex-governor from doing a perjury-caused “perp walk” was his prior resignation over the sex story.
Indeed, Spitzer at the time was being investigated for using State Police resources, to spy on and create documents meant to cause damage to his political opponents.
Isn’t this the exact kind of power abuse that a MLK would have denounced?
Here is a quote from Dr. King:
I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.
There is nothing right and good about Eliot Spitzer’s quest to get back into political power.