Schneiderman Scandal Should Be a Spiritual Crisis for Democrats
“What did they know and when did they know it?” and “It’s not the crime; it’s the cover-up” are two of the biggest journalistic clichés of our time. But clichés or not, sometimes they are true and they both apply (and then some) to the astonishing Eric Schneiderman situation.
This appalling scandal should be nothing less than a spiritual crisis for the Democratic Party and so-called liberals and progressives everywhere.
It should. But it probably won't be, even though the level of hypocrisy is stratospheric. And that is the essence of the problem.
When The New Yorker published the report that the New York state attorney general was a serial batterer -- indeed a batterer who seemed to prefer beating women to having sex with them, a genuine sociopath in the position of New York’s highest law enforcement official -- the AG was defenestrated from his post by Governor Cuomo in the proverbial (apt in this case) New York Minute.
But the initial question immediately arises. Since now five women (the NY Post has a new one) have reported near identical pathologies on the part of Schneiderman, didn't anyone know about this?
Donald Trump clearly had a suspicion. In September 2013, Trump tweeted, "Weiner is gone, Spitzer is gone -- next will be lightweight A.G. Eric Schneiderman. Is he a crook? Wait and see, worse than Spitzer or Weiner."
Was Trump alone? Hardly likely. And yet the man who suddenly was revealed to be quite literally a human monster, who evidently passed on his proclivities to his daughter, was supposedly a surprise to the good people (read: liberal bourgeoisie of NYC). The man who led the charge against Harvey Weinstein turned out to be as bad, or possibly worse, if that's possible, we don't know yet, than Weinstein himself.
And you're telling me haute New York did not know about this, just as so many in Hollywood "didn't know" about Weinstein? Well, in that case, I have a Brooklyn Bridge to sell you.
And as an ex-liberal, I will add that liberalism has a serious moral and spiritual crisis to confront because this man was protected for all the wrong reasons. The people who cosseted him for so long -- women and men, they all know who they are and some are undoubtedly in very high places -- did so because they thought he was on the "right side" of things. Not only is that a weasel-like version of the ends-justify-the-means (he opposed Trump, didn't he? That means he can do anything he wants), it's a form of blindness about what the "right side" really is. It is the "right side" as habit. It is the "right side" as in "never examine any premise ever." It's the "right side" without any discernible moral basis. You've chosen sides, stick with it. Never think, just do. The cause -- whatever that is because nobody really remembers -- is bigger than the man. So what if he's a little flawed? (Well, maybe more than a little.) As I said, the ends justify the means.