My instructor in debating emphasized I don’t know how many times, that engaging in “ad hominem” arguments was a major no-no. In other words, it was appropriate – even desirable – to make counter arguments to those your opponent set forth – but it was not acceptable to say something like, “Well, I’m not surprised to hear you say that. That’s just the kind of thing I would expect from someone as ugly as you.”
Those instructions really stuck with me. Therefore, it is difficult for me to “attack” someone without feeling at least a small quiver of guilt that I might be engaging in that sort of argumentation. Fortunately, I have been able to resolve this dilemma by substituting an “ad hominid” argument in place of the tabooed “ad hominem” one.
As you know, the family “Hominidae” includes both man and our fossil ancestors. I am not sure if the classification covers Neanderthals – but for my purposes I’m going to include them as well. (This is a modern day and I feel fully entitled to mold the facts to my liking just in case I ever want to apply for a position on the staff of “The New York Times”).
So, speaking of Neanderthals, as you probably know, Eliot Spitzer is running for the position of Comptroller of my birthplace, New York City. It’s been five years since he resigned his position as governor over some minor, habitual inappropriateness with a stable of high end hookers. Amazingly, his wife Silda has stuck with him during what must have been an extremely difficult time for her.
During Spitzer’s tenure as Attorney General, he mercilessly attacked both the New York Stock Exchange and the financial industry for their outrageous behavior. (This, of course, included something that was really not his business – executive compensation). Now considering his personal habit of dropping twenty grand for a night of pleasure with his sex partners, one has to wonder how he defines “excessive”.
But there is one thing that Mr. Spitzer has not done excessively. That is take the time and exercise his responsibility to vote. Yes, he was “so busy” last year around election time – flying to California to do a TV show – that he neither got around to procuring an absentee ballot nor did he show up personally on Election Day.
We all make mistakes and certainly an important public figure must have many demands on his time. I presume that explains his similar failure to get out to vote on two previous occasions – in 2007 and 2003. In his defense, he did cast a ballot in each election in which he was running for orifice office.
With what might be called a “checkered career,” it is hard to imagine what line of work Mr. Spitzer might next pursue should his bid to return to public office fail this November. Perhaps he might want to team up with sexting star, Anthony Wiener, whose run for Mayor seems to have taken an abrupt turn for the worse with the revelation that long after he was “cured of his bad behavior,” new photos and messages have started to surface.
I can see the two of them working together as a comedy team, perhaps calling themselves, “Latke and Hamentash”. I’m sure that the duo would play well to OWS – or any other group that includes Neanderthals in its membership.