So, it would appear that The Honorable Gov. Eliot Spitzer is somewhat less than honorable.

It was revealed Monday that the governor is linked to a prostitution ring. A federal wiretap found that he was apparently a somewhat regular customer of the call-girl business.

Spitzer, 48, is in his first (and now, it seems, only) term as New York's governor. The Democrat allegedly paid all the expenses for a prostitute to take a train from New York to Washington to have sex with him. He is open to federal prosecution because the woman crossed state lines.

Mr. Spitzer should resign.

We don't feel that way because of some puritan ethic. The governor is not the first married man to pay a prostitute for sex, nor will he be the last.

That said, we are certainly not condoning the practice or saying prostitution is a victimless crime, because it isn't.

In Spitzer's case, the victims include his wife (who looked so miserable standing next to him at his Monday news conference), his three teenage daughters and the entire state of New York.

The governor should resign because he apparently violated laws he worked so zealously to enforce when he was the state's swashbuckling attorney general.

The governor should resign because he is a hypocrite.

While attorney general, Spitzer prosecuted at least two major prostitution rings. He set himself up as a righteous _ his critics would say self-righteous _ crusader for the people whether he was going after Wall Street security firms or the Gambino crime family.

Elected governor virtually by proclamation, he described himself as "The Steamroller." It was no secret that his ambitions included the presidency.

Perhaps it was that "Steamroller" arrogance that led Spitzer to believe he could somehow get away with frequenting a call-girl enterprise.

We don't know what it is with some of these high-profile politicians who think they can have sex outside their marriages and have it remain a secret.

Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho had an inappropriate homosexual episode in an airport restroom. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana acknowledged using an escort service.

Craig is disgraced but is serving out his term. Vitter has apologized and has apparently salvaged his career. The two right-wing Republicans are every bit as hypocritical as Spitzer, but the Democrat is unlikely to be in office more than another day or two.

Republicans in the Legislature are calling for his head. The Democrats would just like him to go away.

It is likely that Spitzer, who has hired a high-profile Manhattan law firm to represent him, will try to use a resignation in much the same way the late Vice President Spiro Agnew did to avoid prosecution.

Eliot Spitzer is a talented, intelligent man who had much to offer in the way of public service. But he showed a stunning lack of judgment.

It is time for him to go.

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