Of course the French were offended when he was photographed in handcuffs, but some women observed with a certain glee that the pictures of him unshaven and unwashed made him look like a dirty old man in a raincoat, a warning to arrogant men who think they're God's gift to women and can operate without boundaries. The hard-nosed feminists who've been mocked for years for exaggerating male boorishness in the office and on the street can claim a certain vindication. Great crimes from little cads grow.
DSK hasn't been a good Socialist, either. Hypocrisy is often a sin that passes invisible until the moment it's exposed, sometimes greater than life-size, though this time it was darkly visible for anyone who looked. A prospective Socialist president need not live modestly, but renting a house for $50,000 a month is pushing it when he is awaiting trial for abusing a poor cleaning lady, a single mother from Africa struggling to raise a child. Only a month ago, he was satirized in Paris for "capitalist" displays of extravagance when he was photographed getting out of an expensive Porsche.
A poll taken in France immediately after his arrest showed that 60 percent thought he was "set up," victim of a political conspiracy. Some still believe that, but they're a diminishing band as press leaks describe the woman as a "credible witness." More than a few of his friends should suffer feelings of guilt that they didn't try to help him with his "woman problem."
"Morality and democracy are both levelers," writes Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield in The Weekly Standard magazine, defending old-fashioned truths that raise the low-born and abase the high-roller. "They encourage each other, and they take satisfaction in each other."
Marianne is the national emblem of France, commemorating liberty and reason as civic virtues of the Republic. Those virtues prevail here, too.
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