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Foss: Good riddance to Eric Schneiderman

Foss: Good riddance to Eric Schneiderman

Foss: Good riddance to Eric Schneiderman
Eric Schneiderman at a news conference in Manhattan, July 19, 2016.
Photographer: BRYAN THOMAS/THE NEW YORK TIMES

Falls from grace don't come much swifter than the one that befell disgraced former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman earlier this week, and all I can say is: good riddance. 

The New Yorker article that led to Schneiderman's downfall thoroughly unmasked the Attorney General, revealing the cruel, abusive monster lurking beneath his progressive persona. 

To read this article, and the shocking accusations of physical and verbal abuse contained within, is to recoil in disgust. 

At least, that's how I reacted to the article's many revelations. 

Some had a different reaction. 

One of the more maddening anecdotes in the New Yorker piece concerns the response one of Schneiderman's former girlfriends received when she told several friends about the abuse. 

"A number of them advised her to keep the story to herself, arguing that Schneiderman was too valuable a politician for the Democrats to lose," the piece states.  

Too valuable? 

There is no politician so valuable it justifies overlooking, ignoring or sweeping the kind of allegations leveled at Schneiderman under the rug. 

The disgraced former Attorney General endeared himself to Democrats by championing women's causes and challenging the Trump administration, but that hardly makes him indispensable, or above the law. 

Nearly everyone is replaceable, and it won't be hard to find someone to replace Schneiderman.

New York isn't exactly suffering from a shortage of ambitious Democratic politicians looking to make a name for themselves. 

If history is any guide, Schneiderman's replacement will likely view the Attorney General's office as a vehicle for generating headlines and advancing progressive causes, much as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who was also felled by scandal, once did. 

It's also possible that Schneiderman's replacement will be an improvement -- more willing to investigate corrupt state lawmakers and crack down on corrupt Wall Street banks than Schneiderman ultimately proved to be. 

Schneiderman played the part of the tough-on-Wall Street prosecutor, but his bark was worse than his bite: In his time as Attorney General, he issued zero criminal subpoenas against the U.S. financiers who helped wreck the U.S. economy. 

There's no reason to mourn Schneiderman's sudden departure from politics.

He will be replaced, the work of the Attorney General's office will continue and voters will, in all likelihood, forget all about him. 

This banishment from public life is fitting end for a man whose cruelty and narcissism have rendered him unfit for public office. 

Reach Sara Foss at sfoss@dailygazette.net. Opinions expressed here are her own and not necessarily the newspaper's.

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