Sunday, May 15, 2011

What next?

Figaro:


On peut supposer que si DSK était obligé de renoncer, Martine Aubry, tenue jusqu'à présent par le «pacte» qui la liait à Dominique Strauss-Kahn, se lancerait sans hésitation dans la compétition. La première secrétaire affronterait alors François Hollande, qui a déjà fait acte de candidature et qui progresse régulièrement depuis dans toutes les enquêtes d'opinion. L'une des interrogations réside dans la stratégie de Ségolène Royal, qui a fait part ces dernières semaines de son intention de ne rien lâcher malgré des sondages défavorables.
Quoi qu'il arrive, cette affaire constitue un véritable coup de massue pour le Parti socialiste, qui en quelques heures a probablement perdu sa meilleure carte pour 2012. Depuis plusieurs mois, les strauss-kahniens affichaient un optimisme inoxydable,le Parti socialiste, qui en quelques heures a probablement perdu sa meilleure carte pour 2012 même si «l'affaire de la Porsche» avait sonné comme une première alerte.

This will be a very delicate balancing act for Aubry. She won't want to deny the presumption of innocence, but if she wants to be president, she must announce, and if she wants to repair the damage to the party she leads, she probably will announce--although I, for one, am not sure that she will be a better candidate than Hollande. And Royal's calculations will now have to be entirely revised, to say nothing of Montebourg's. And perhaps someone else--Moscovici?--will now be tempted to make a run, claiming to represent "social democracy."

What a mess.

20 comments:

Kirk said...

My guess is that premusption of innocencce or not, they can't allow him to stay in the game. His trial won't happen right away; at best in several months, or at the end of the year. Aubry will have to push him aside, saying something like, "We should presume him innocent until proven guilty, but we can't wait for the outcome of his trial."

No matter, he wouldn't have won anyway...

Kirk said...

I like this comment from Christine Boutin (cited in Libération):

"Je pense que vraisemblablement on a tendu un piège à Dominique Strauss-Kahn et qu’il y est tombé. C’est une véritable bombe politique pour la politique intérieure mais aussi sur le plan international. Il peut y avoir beaucoup beaucoup d’origines à ce piège. Ça peut venir du FMI, ça peut venir de la droite française, ça peut venir de la gauche française. Mais si c’est le cas, jouer avec l’image de la France comme cela n’est pas acceptable."

Yea, right. They got someone to work at the Sofitel, just because they knew that DSK _might_ one day be there, and _might_ be on the floor on which she was working...

meshplate said...

@kirk. I am with you on that one Kirk. The idea that it was entrapment is not very plausible. You could not have relied on DSK to take the bait and jump on her. At the worst it is a false accusation. But the police are familiar with such ploys surely and must know how to distinguish between a flat out lie and an accusation of rape founded on some hard evidence. The fact that he ran and tried to flee the country is pretty damning.

Kirk said...

From Libération:

"Car, pour la plupart, «DSK candidat», c’est terminé sauf à le voir lavé de tout soupçon très rapidement par la justice américaine, pas vraiment connue pour être libérale en matière de mœurs."

"libérale en matière de moeurs..."

Um, seriously, "moeurs"? Attempted rape is not "moeurs," at least not in my book.

Here we go with more rants about "Puritan" America, just like during the whole Polanski thing, after he raped a minor...

meshplate said...

I heard this from a friend's mouth already today and a woman too boot: "en france ces histoires là on s'en fiche". I am with you Kirk, such arguments are irrational, arrant nonsense. Anti american prejudice at its most flagrant. How can people even say such things with a straight face? Yes certainly he is innocent until proved guilty, but he is not innocent because such matters concern only puritan Americans. I believe if I am not wrong that rape is also a crime in France.

meshplate said...

Also from the Libé blog: "Dans l’Amérique puritaine, imprégnée de protestantisme rigoriste, on tolère infiniment mieux les jeux d’argent que les plaisirs de la chair." It's really amazing to say such things. Rape is un plaisir de la chair?" That's putting a hell of lot of lipstick on a large pig. Furthermore Just last week there was the conviction of multi-billionaire Raj Rajaratnam for massive insider trading! So dammed hypocritical. And in France, what ever happened about Tapis and Credit Lyonnais? Furthermore, in France, we the French stand up for the right tolerate of the powerfulto rape housekeeping staff because...this is such a sophisticated country and so profoundly concerned with the plight of human rights ? Ca m'indigne.

meshplate said...

Surely there is a link between the narcissism of a man who was "si persuadé d’être l’homme de la situation, il croyait pouvoir vaincre sans combattre" and the presumption that for him rape would not have consequences. Good riddance to another of member of the self-entitled elite! The thing that worries me in all this though is that it could fuel anti-semitic fires whose embers never die in France (or elsewhere).

Anonymous said...

meshplate: I agree with your statement and repeat it here - "Surely there is a link between the narcissism of a man who was "si persuadé d’être l’homme de la situation, il croyait pouvoir vaincre sans combattre" and the presumption that for him rape would not have consequences.

Such reckless behavior, even if "provoked" as some here say, is indicative of a man unfit to rule at best and of a sexual predator at worst.


It's disgusting to hear the journalists: they all tiptoe around the issue and keep saying "affaire de moeurs", or " c'était un dragueur un peu pressant certes mais s'il y avait des viols quelqu'un en aurait parlé?"
Their understatement "dragueur un peu pressant", "affaires de moeurs" ... seriously? "un peu pressant" indicates coercion in French newspeak but they seem unable to recognize it.

Rape is a crime in France, but based on what I hear I'm wondering how it's defined!

The journalist on F2 says that the DSK/SInclair couple gave the impression they were very close and that all his co-workers were "dithyrambiques". The editorialists on F2 point out the only person who believes the accusation is Marine Le Pen, i.e., fear-mongering.

FOG is the only one who says "there HAVE BEEN 'behavior problems' ", he's the most severe....

Of course, the maid may have seen a naked guy and decided to make extra money, or thought "easy target".

But in any case, I don't see how he can run as he'll lose his IMF position.

Kirk said...

Also no France 2, Giesbert suggested that it might be a "coup monté," which, frankly, is conspiracy theorizing of the basest sort.

I watched all of that bit, where they were all seemingly uncomfortable, especially the woman, who pointed out that DKS has a reputation as a "dragueur." Where is the dignity of women in all this? If he has this reputation, and the head of the socialist party would accept that de be a possible candidate for president, is that really a sign of sagacity? With the risk that he would go after someone - not neccesarily with violenc, but with the coercion of power - and that it might come out during the campaign, or, worse, during his presedential term?

I think the socialists in general have just lost the next election. I know it's a year away, but I have a feeling from what I'm reading that more about DSK is going to come out, and a certainly level of look-the-other-way by the socialist party will become obvious.

Kirk said...

Oh, and regarding the poor woman in the hotel. My guess is that they are trained as to how to deal with the possibility of coming into a room and finding either naked people or people who come on to them. This wasn't a motel; this was a $3000 room in a hotel near Times Square. The liklihood that this is just a maid trying to cash in would suprise me quite a bit.

brent said...

I am intrigued by the many comments on blogs, and the ones cited above, to the effect of: too bad for DSK that "over there" they, silly puritans, take these things seriously. Can it be that French opinion at large is so cynical as to think that forcible rape ought NOT to be taken seriously (particularly where the perpetrator is very rich and powerful, and the victim a servant)? Have I fallen asleep and woken up back in the ancien regime? Or has French opinion done so?

Anonymous said...

Brent, there are many who seem to think that droit de cuissage still exists...

bernard said...

Visibly, DSK's political and professional life is over, whatever the final outcome of present events.

I will refrain from commenting, except to state that what appears to me a vital piece of evidence would be the fact that a luxury hotel maid steps inside the suite of a head-of-state level guest as he is present. Strange to say the least. As to the facts of the case, one should simply be confident of the US criminal justice system to make them clear.

As for the state of play now for French politics, my view would be that there are actualy exactly two politicians with the capacity of unifying the left, and that is a pre-condition for success, namely Royal and Fabius (and they loath each other...). Royal has a proven ability to appeal to the loosely termed working class, but not that much policy experience. Fabius has the ultimate political mind, has massive politicy making experience, has positioned himself in a bridging position with the leftist tendencies, and is hated by most politicians who ever had to compete with him. We will just have to see but, for me, the other presumptive candidates don't really have a chance to win. As for DSK, I have thought he had potential to be a good Prez but little potential as a candidate.

Anonymous said...

Kirk, you're right to point out what kind of hotel it was. Far from a dive, shall we say -- I'll add that I've been at the W and the service is impeccable (better than at the Hilton's but it may have been bad luck rather than norm as I didn't return :p. But still, quite a standard).
Cincinna can probably tell us whether there's a background check before hiring; certainly, as far as I know and as Kirk said, in high-end hotels, maids are indeed trained so as to not bother the guests -- and not with a generic piece of advice but in specific situations that are detailed so that the maids are aware they are not to bother or embarass the guests; the staff are very careful about it because if the guests complain about a maid, the guest is always right and the staff member loses their job.

This at least is sure: If she walked into the room, you can be sure a floor attendant saw her knock at the door first. If the guest was naked, she knew better than to stand in his way.

Playing devil's advocate: If she was in the main room, though, why didn't she leave as soon as she saw him enter naked? In fact, if he was in the shower and she could hear it run, wasn't she supposed to leave?

Myos

Anonymous said...

@bernard: she may not have known before entering that he was there, as check out is 12-noon, I think.
But she should have heard the shower run, even if she was in the main room, and she should have left then.

re: service at the W
"whatever, whenever, as long as it's legal". The examples given are a wedding dress picked up by helicopter and a bathtub filled with hot chocolate.
http://www.starwoodhotels.com/whotels/whatever/whenever/index.html

Anonymous said...

Brent: it's shocking to hear so many people who don't seem to grasp that a sexual assault is any form of unwanted sexual contact (actually I think in NY state it even encompasses no-contact, non-consensual sexual situations).

Anonymous said...

Apologies: I assumed DSK was staying at the W Times Square when he was in fact at the Sofitel. Although I know nothing of training and background checks at Sofitel, I would assume they have similar standards... Still, apologies for the hotel name mix up.

Myos

Mary Campbell Gallagher, J.D., Ph.D. said...

The fact that the maid entered while DSK was still there is, as Bernard suggests, strange. I wondered about that. But don't hotels sometimes put the bill under the door on the morning of departure, allowing the guest to check out without stopping at the front desk? If DSK had already checked out, by phone or email, when the maid entered the room, that would explain both her entering the room, because she thought it was empty, and his being able to make a fast getaway. Perhaps he had his own driver and car, or he was able to hail a taxi, which can be easy on that club-heavy block of West 44th Street. I couldn't picture a man in such a hurry to get away that he left his cell phone in his room waiting patiently while the desk clerk totaled up his long-distance bills. But if he had already checked out, he could just have sashayed through the lobby and walked away.

Anonymous said...

Great front page on the Daily News:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/galleries/may_2011_daily_news_front_pages/may_2011_daily_news_front_pages.html

Jim Livesey said...

Hi Art,

Here is Le Monde's take on how this will work out legally.
http://tinyurl.com/6fgwy6q