Dominique Strauss-Kahn in custody for rape: some reactions

Fallout for the French presidential election and for the IMF

Over the weekend, the French elections were thrown into disarray. One of the strongest contenders for the election was accused of rape by a hotel maid in New York.

She says that when she entered the room to clean up, he appeared nude and tackled her; she says she was able to get free and run out.

We have no evidence to go on for the moment. While the maid may be telling the truth about a sordid crime, it could also be a total fabrication. We will have to wait and see.

In the meantime, Nicolas Sarkozy has just gained an edge in the election. Even if DSK, as he is known in France, turns out to  be innocent of all charges, this will significantly sabotage his campaign.

Strauss-Kahn in court today

DSK is center-left, leading the right-wing of France’s Parti Socialiste. As an telling mark of how little the PS is genuinely about anything socialist, note that DSK is also the current chairman of the International Monetary Fund, whose policies form part of the neoliberal world order (although he has been nudging the IMF away from its legacy of dogmatic neoliberal policy).

The image of the handcuffed Strauss-Kohn has shocked the leading leftist newspapers in France.

Translation: DSK in cuffs, the shock of an image

The French are also scandalized that American tabloids are legally allowed to show images of an accused person in handcuffs before their arraignment.

Martine Aubry se dit «bouleversée des images (qu’elle) a vues ce matin». «Heureusement, on est dans un pays où, grâce à la présomption d’innocence, on ne peut pas montrer des hommes et des femmes à ce stade de la procédure menottés. C’est profondément humiliant. Ca m’a vraiment bouleversée», a-t-elle assuré devant le siège du PS, rue de Solférino.

One final fact that interests me about the story is the price of the suite he was staying in. It costs $3,000 per night.

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