Amidst the tawdriness, I attempt to draw a real lesson.

Suppose that we define “Spitzer” as someone who believes in the aggressive use of political power. A Spitzer believes it is his mission to tell us what to do for own good.

Is Barack Obama–who also comes from a Harvard Law School background, and who identifies the “audacity of hope” with government expansion–a Spitzer? Absolutely. Is Hillary Clinton–who sees the the state as a substitute for a village, making it also a substitute for the family–a Spitzer? Positively. Is John McCain–who Virginia Postrel describes as “an instinctive regulator who considers business a base pursuit”– a Spitzer? Unfortunately, yes.

For more on McCain as a Spitzer, see Greg Scoblete. I still hold out the hope that Senator McCain has enough common sense to rein in some of his more Spitzer-ish urges (and of course I’m not talking about sex.)