For a couple of days, I was a bit stunned at how quickly Elliot Spitzer was forced out of office as governor of New York State. Most of the time when there is a sex scandal involving a high-profile politician, the political party to which that official belongs will at least attempt to rally around him (or her, though I can't think of any female politicians involved in sex scandals) to prevent his collapse. In this case, it seemed either virtually unanimous that Spitzer must resign, or at least that those defending him did so half-heartedly. A few hours ago, I thought of a theory explaining this. More after the jump.
My belief is that Spitzer "picked" the wrong time to get caught with a hooker.
Right now, there is a civil war going on within the Democratic Party.
The party has divided into two camps, based more on personality than policy: we have the Obamacrats and the Hillarycrats, and Spitzer had declared himself firmly within the Hillarycrat camp.
For this reason, when the scandal broke, the Obamacrats made no effort to defend him, many even actively calling for his resignation. I must admit that I personally, as an Obamacrat, took as much glee in his downfall as if it were a Republican to take the tumble. It is not because it deprives Hillary Clinton of a superdelegate or embarrasses her; but simply I took pleasure in seeing the collapse of someone who I currently view as a political rival. I'm sure that many other Obamacrats have the same sentiment, even if they won't admit it.
So right from the start, Spitzer had two factions against him: Republicans and Obamacrats. However, the Hillarycrats were not too keen to defend him either. The vast majority of Hillarycrats are either women, or men who largely agree with feminist ideals. Defending a "john" is not high on the priority list of feminists and feminist-sympathizers, I would imagine.
So Spitzer was left out in the cold with little support, and had no choice but to resign, a swift and stunning fall from grace. In my opinion, had this scandal broke last summer, a few weeks after the Vitter scandal, then there is a good chance that Democrats would have rallied around him, at the very least forestalling his eventual resignation.