Economist/gameshow host/Ferris Bueller actor Ben Stein has issued a blisteringly offensive, eight-point defense of Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Yes, defense. Let's break it down, shall we?
If he is such a womanizer and violent guy with women, why didn't he ever get charged until now? If he has a long history of sexual abuse, how can it have remained no more than gossip this long? France is a nation of vicious political rivalries. Why didn't his opponents get him years ago?
Well, the French press is also notoriously reticent where politicians' private lives are concerned. But even if that weren't the case, being a womanizer isn't the same as being a "violent guy with women," and DSK isn't charged with being violent toward "women." He's charged with assaulting one woman, and the fact that he hasn't previously been convicted of doing so doesn't prove him innocent.
In life, events tend to follow patterns. People who commit crimes tend to be criminals, for example. Can anyone tell me any economists who have been convicted of violent sex crimes? Can anyone tell me of any heads of nonprofit international economic entities who have ever been charged and convicted of violent sexual crimes? Is it likely that just by chance this hotel maid found the only one in this category? Maybe Mr. Strauss-Kahn is guilty but if so, he is one of a kind, and criminals are not usually one of a kind.
It is a great point that criminals are never respected members of their communities. Look at that back-alley hoodlum, Roman Polanski. Also, everyone knows that all rapes are committed by masked strangers who have never achieved anything in their lives. Oh wait.
The prosecutors say that Mr. Strauss-Kahn "forced" the complainant to have oral and other sex with him. How? Did he have a gun? Did he have a knife? He's a short fat old man. They were in a hotel with people passing by the room constantly, if it's anything like the many hotels I am in. How did he intimidate her in that situation? And if he was so intimidating, why did she immediately feel un-intimidated enough to alert the authorities as to her story?
The court of public opinion often dismisses rape victims if they take too long to go to the police. Apparently, going to the police too quickly now also means you are a liar.
Did he really have to be put in Riker's Island? Couldn't he have been given home detention with a guard? This is a man with a lifetime of public service, on a distinguished level, to put it mildly. Was Riker's Island really the place to put him on the allegations of one human being? Hadn't he earned slightly better treatment than that?
Clearly DSK, as head of the IMF, is worth more than "one human being" — while we might jail an ordinary person for one alleged rape, the head of the IMF should really have to be accused by forty or fifty women before we put him behind bars. It's only fair. Here Stein's not alone, though. Bernard-Henri Levy also decries the American justice system for treating DSK like a commoner: "This morning, I hold it against the American judge who, by delivering him to the crowd of photo hounds, pretended to take him for a subject of justice like any other."
What do we know about the complainant besides that she is a hotel maid? I love and admire hotel maids. They have incredibly hard jobs and they do them uncomplainingly. I am sure she is a fine woman. On the other hand, I have had hotel maids that were complete lunatics, stealing airline tickets from me, stealing money from me, throwing away important papers, stealing medications from me. How do we know that this woman's word was good enough to put Mr. Strauss-Kahn straight into a horrific jail? Putting a man in Riker's is serious business. Maybe more than a few minutes of investigation is merited before it's done.
It would probably be useful for Ben Stein to draw up an exhaustive list of types of people who have stolen his medicine and/or thrown away his important papers, so that the justice system would know whose rape accusations to disregard.
In what possible way is the price of the hotel room relevant except in every way: this is a case about the hatred of the have-nots for the haves, and that's what it's all about. A man pays $3,000 a night for a hotel room? He's got to be guilty of something. Bring out the guillotine.
I have to commend Stein for refusing to jump on the "honey trap" bandwagon and instead coming up with his own, incredibly plausible explanation for the entire DSK scandal: poor people are jealous.
Presumed Innocent, Anyone? [American Spectator]