Reactions to l’affair DSK have their interesting aspects.
In Britain it seems to be a shrug of the shoulders. So a politician has been caught with his trousers round his ankles, what’s new? That it’s a Frenchman for a change has its satisfying side, but there’s nothing special in the incident.
In the USA there is obviously more interest. This is not just a politician in a sex scandal, it’s a champagne socialist trying to rape a chambermaid whilst staying at a $3,000 a night suite in a luxury hotel at the taxpayer’s expense. Throw in the fact that he is a “Cheese eating surrender monkey” and it is glee unconfined.
Whether the former head of the IMF is innocent or not the reaction of the French progressive intelligentsia is instructive. “We and the Americans do not belong to the same civilisation,” sniffed Jean Daniel, editor of Le Nouvel Observateur. Daniel appears surprised that the New York police did not realise that Strauss-Kahn was “not like other men” as he wondered why “this chambermaid was regarded as worthy and beyond any suspicion.”
Bernard-Henri Lévy is stamping his little feet in fury at the lèse-majesté of this serving wench and the impertinence of America’s “absurd” justice system, not to mention the preposterous “American judge who, by delivering him to the crowd of photo hounds, pretended to take him for a subject of justice like any other.”
Liberation carried an article by novelist Luis de Miranda which praised DSK as “a philosophical hero.” Miranda takes it for granted that DSK is as guilty as sin, so what? Rather than condemning him for rape Miranda praises his heroic qualities. “We bet that in his depths Dominique Strauss-Khan is joyful. Perhaps he doesn’t admit it to himself yet. But behaving thus at this point in his biography could only have been voluntary. I add that it is heroic.”
DSK seemingly, in full knowledge of what he was doing, heroically renounced the chance of being President of France. “If the cleaning woman has been attacked, the woman worker had violence done to her, then we are touching on the sublime, in the Kantian sense… A political suicide rather than the death of an automaton or the possibility of a reign unleashed.” Miranda concludes, “This event in New York is a sacrifice, a renunciation of an anticipated excess of power, a gift to the French national interest. In that, DSK, you are heroic. Thank you.”
Given any choice I think it would be preferable to live in a country where “frontier justice” means that a chambermaid can get a world leader dragged out of his first class air seat to answer charges, to living in one where the elites can get away with pretty much what they want because they are not “a subject of justice like any other.”
Before my American readers get too complacent this type of arrogance is not confined to France. To witness a progressive arguing for 21st century droit de seigneur may appear odd, but is actually standard stuff. Remember the eulogies of that progressive standard bearer Edward Kennedy?
Not too long ago Whoopie Goldberg famously defended Roman Polaski. The director had drugged a thirteen year old girl and raped her, but as Whoopie said “There rape and there’s rape rape.”
Other Holywood progressives howled in anguish as Polanski was arrested, after fleeing to France who refused to extradite him. They supported his evasion of punishment for child rape. After all, hadn’t he suffered enough already, he had been prevented from entering the USA to pick up his Oscar in 2003.
It is not only French progressives who think that there are two sets of moral stands, one for the little people and an entirely different one for them.