It is ridiculous that governance of the nation's third-largest state is changing hands because two consenting adults swapped sex for money instead of the conventional cosmopolitan or margarita.Uh… It’s true.
When the dust settles over this brouhaha, I hope we'll be ready for a long-overdue, realistic, adult conversation about prostitution. It's time to bring the world's oldest profession aboveboard in communities willing to allow it, clean up the trade, and clamp down on the exploitation. Let government share in the revenue, but otherwise stay out of the private affairs of consenting adults. Beyond the role of the tax man, prostitution doesn't warrant the involvement of federal authorities.
Instructive is the way in which Spitzer was caught. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the financial world has been required to alert the feds when evidence arises of conduct that could be linked to terrorism. Spitzer's suspicious money transfers were the thread that led to his discovery. Some functionary or other recognized that this was a case of titillation, not terrorism, yet nevertheless committed the resources that brought about Spitzer's public crash. What a waste of time, expertise, and the people's money.
With regard to the [Spitzer] investigation, [Alan] Dershowitz told me that "they used 5,000 wiretaps. They intercepted 6,000 e-mails. Every hour spent on going after prostitution is an hour that could have been spent on going after terrorists and going after people who victimize.
Dershowitz also said: "You have to remember that 30 years ago, it was a crime to masturbate or fornicate or commit adultery or to engage in homosexuality, and these stupid, stupid prostitution laws are a remnant of that old approach to private morality.Amen.
"Twenty years from now, people will look back at this and say, 'What? Somebody had to resign or be indicted because he went and paid for an adult prostitute who was making $5,000 an hour?' Where's the victim here?"
What’s more — he was probably even a more effective governor after a little face time with that.
Michael Smerconish: "It's time for prostitution to be legalized" or "I'm pretty sure this is the most sense I've made in, like, 14 years" [ Philadelphia Inquirer ]