Years and years and years ago, I read a truly atrocious thriller that featured a conspiracy within the White House to assassinate the president — for his own good, and the good of the country. The president had started to develop Alzheimer’s Disease, and a particularly aggressive and very fast-moving form. His top aides realized that there wasn’t a really good Constitutional remedy for the situation, wanted to spare the country the harm he could cause, and preserve his legacy, so they plotted to have him killed in as quick and merciful fashion as possible — a form of euthenasia, if you will.
At that point it totally lurched into self-parody involving an ice bullet containing a virulent poison and an assassin smuggled into and out of the White House to carry out the deed, but some parts stuck in my memory. And one of them was what was the convincing evidence for one of the president’s closest aides that the president had a problem — a video of a fund-raising dinner.
At that dinner, the president was sitting next to the teenage daughter of a major donor — and at one point, it became obvious that he had shoved his hand up her dress and sexually molested her. She contained her reaction enough to not draw attention at the time, but on review it was obvious what had happened.
I’d forgotten about that novel until I read this article (thanks to a link from Ace) about Strauss-Kahn. Apparently after allegedly raping the maid at his hotel, he continued his predations — hitting on a flight attendant on the plane that he nearly escaped on. Further, before his encounter with the maid, he had made “inappropriate advances” on two other hotel employees.
Now, I’m pretty old-school in a lot of ways. I think that for rapists, castration is a good starting point for punishment. But Strauss-Kahn’s alleged conduct here is so outrageous, so far beyond the pale, that I wonder if it is more than can be explained by simply being an arrogant, powerful, predatory scumbag.
Strauss-Kahn is a very powerful man. He has also been a very successful man. Men like that tend not to have such problems with impulse control — they need at least a slight measure of self-restraint, or they flame out long before they reach the peaks. Or, at least, how to control and steer and limit their impulses into areas where it can help them.
Another indicator is how spectacularly unsuccessful his advances were. Four separate incidents where he hit on women, and all four failed. (I’m counting the maid as “unsuccessful” because he allegedly had to resort to force.) They were so pathetic that it would have taken a miracle (or a woman with incredibly low standards and self-esteem) to even consider accepting them. This is not the sort of thing one expects from a serial womanizer.
Could Strauss-Kahn be suffering some medical condition like Alzheimer’s that has, as a symptom, hypersexuality? In other words, could he just be nuts?
Personally speaking, if he’s convicted, I fall back to my previously-stated position on rape: castration would be a good starting point. The fact that he’s both French and a Socialist are, in my book, aggravating factors, and make me want even more draconian punishments.
But I also occasionally enjoy a good puzzle or mystery, and in this case it occurs to me that there could be an explanation for this episode. And one that, to me, makes a bit more sense than “rich and powerful older man suddenly goes on sex-crazed bender.”