Tag Archives: Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Dismissal of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s case is bad news for victims

With the media attention on the DSK affair, I now take an extra look at the maids whenever I check into a hotel.  Depending on the region, the workers represent the lowest immigrants on the totem pole, newcomers from Asia, Mexico, Africa, the Caribbean. I have relatives who work “housekeeping.”  They are generally overworked and underpaid.

As a hotel guest, I am quick to show my empathy. I try to leave a few dollars more as a tip.

Unlike  Dominique Strauss-Kahn,  I don’t see the workers as being at my disposal to be used as if they came complimentary like the bathroom toiletries.

So there’s my bias.

Initially, I cheered when they got DSK because his arrogance is so ripe.  He seemed ready for a fall. Man of power taking his imperial liberties with a housekeeper, that’s so Masterpiece Theatre.

But it’s just his luck to have a victim who appears to have so little credibility the prosecutors lost faith in the case and in her.

Reportedly, the victim lied about a gang rape that had happened previously to her. When it couldn’t be verified, what other conclusions could the prosecutors come to? They knew they couldn’t win a “he-said she said” case with a victim who could be discredited so easily.

So they punted.  Too bad.

They’ve just created a new climate for every victim going forward. They’ll now have a double burden.

Convincing a jury is one thing, but considering how hungry and overzealous prosecutors tend to be at putting someone behind bars, convincing a prosecutor is just a formality.

Not anymore.

Getting justice just got harder for the innocent.

I kept wondering could this be a cultural thing, a language thing. Did they not understand the victim from Guinea?

But though the accent is thick, she had no problem communicating. Reportedly, she was so convincing to prosecutors on the fake gang rape story she was in tears.  Then later she recanted.

Great acting can be truth in art.

It just doesn’t make it as truth in court.

Schwarzenegger and Strauss-Kahn: It’s not about sex, but power, greed, and ego

Better than your average car wreck on the interstate, it’s hard not to be fascinated by the public spectacle of powerful white men getting their penises caught in a shredder.

That’s what happening to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who both thought their sexual exploits could be as easily dismissed and forgotten like some unwanted document.

Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, would have gotten away, at least from New York, were it not for the cell phone left at the scene of the crime.

And Schwarzenegger, well, you can’t undo a love child.  A pro-choice Republican while in office, Schwarzenegger made a bad choice.

And now we see how badly he misunderstood the notion of “courting the Latino” vote.

I would have thought that we all have settled in our minds how we felt about philandering politicians after the Clinton/Lewinsky affair.

But I guess it depends on how much you like the philandering pol.

Then you can “compartmentalize” private and public, just like the pol, and allow your guy to get away with the nasty.

Bill Clinton seems to done just splendidly after the affair. But that didn’t happen to John Edwards, who not only cheated on the poor cancer-stricken Elizabeth, but then…. she died on him. 

I’d say serial cheaters like Newt Gingrich, a presidential candidate, need to worry.

The public still expects fidelity and honesty. More leeway is given if they like you. And Gingrich is hardly warm and cuddly.

In Schwarzenegger’s case, everyone loves Maria Shriver, so it’s really no contest for the body builder. He’s done in public life. And in his private life, maybe he’ll find solace among the ethically challenged in show business.

Strauss-Kahn? In America, he’s just known as a man of power.  But he’s also a man of contradictions. The guy heads the IMF and he’s a socialist?  He certainly was a socialist when it comes to sex.

He apparently did it with everybody, many of them journalists and now they’re speaking out.

Curiously, Strauss-Kahn’s victim was a hotel maid from Africa.

Schwarzenegger’s was his household help from Guatemala.

And this is basically why these two sexual exploits are vastly different from some other sexual shenanigans in politics.

You can’t compartmentalize the actions so easy in the realm of  personal vs. public.

Schwarzenegger and Strauss-Kahn’s dalliances become crimes when they cease to be about sex, and turn into imperialistic acts of power and class.

Their actions are all about powerful men taking advantage of the weak, getting what they want, when they want, and thinking they can get away with it.

They can’t.