May 19, 2011

Dominique Strauss-Kahn stark naked (3): the view from France

Dominique Strauss Kahn rapes chamber maid

His resignation has taken the pressure off the steam cooker, and we fear for our hit score.

Questionably romancing the chamber maid---a small step for Strauss-Kahn (DSK) possibly, whom we suspect to do this all the time---how else could one muster the courage at the age of 62 to walk out of the bathroom stark naked and serenade the maid (did he already have an erection or did this come later?). A small step for DSK, but a large step for this blog, and a triumph for male nudity. He's the first to outscore our naked girls, although Prince William came close with his baldness during the wedding to Kate.

Henri-Bernard Lévy summed up the emotions of the French chattering classes when he declared DSK "a friend" whom he "knows well" (wouldn't one assume that one knows "a friend" always "well"---never mind), and who could never have done such a thing. He must have spent (much) time with DSK in comparable situations (they, together in a Hotel suite 3000 kay per night, the maid entering unannounced, and DSK not jumping up, not locking the door, not forcing the girl toward his private parts, not have oral sex, etc.) Furthermore, he observes wittily, hotel rooms of the Sofitel class are always entered by a team of a least 2 maids, so there's something wrong in the maid's account.

So it must be a conspiracy. Maureen Dowd picks up on this in the NYT and mentions that she spent many nights in the same hotel and has never seen more than one maid serving a room. She also has some predictable things to say about the French elite and its arrogance, but Stephen Clarke (author of "1000 Years Annoying the French") says them even better (pay attention the the racehorse):
France may think it had a revolution, but in fact it just got a new, and even more powerful, elite. They believe themselves so indispensable to the running of the country that trying to topple one of them is a bit like threatening to shoot a prize racehorse for nibbling your lawn. You’re meant to shut up and let them nibble.

This is why the French establishment sees Mr. Strauss-Kahn---rather than the traumatized chambermaid the police say he attacked---as the victim. The same case would never have come out in the open in Paris. The woman would have been quietly asked whether she thought it was worth risking her job and her residence permit. She would have been reminded that it was her word against his, and frankly, whom would people believe? The witty, famous man with the influential friends, or the nobody?
Krugman, in his only remark on his blog, treads a similar path. He cites the famous unknown right-winger Ben Stein defending Strauss-Kahn, and concludes
I’m not alone in pointing this out, but Strauss-Kahn is a man of the sort-of-left, an internationalist, a surprisingly Keynesian IMF head. On ideological grounds you might have expected Stein to be gleeful about his troubles.

But it turns out that there’s a kind of class loyalty that trumps even politics: the powerful must be protected. Only the little people get charged with rape.

That's our take as well. DSK and his ilk must be doing this all the time, and now we are shocked, shocked about the illegal gambling going on at Harry's Bar, and we can't believe it, and it's impossible.

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