Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Roger L. Simon a couple of days ago at Pajamas Media, responding to the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn:

The French have always liked to think Americans are yahoos, ascribing importance, as we are wont to do, to the private lives of our politicians....

Not that we Americans were much better. Frenchified, we ultimately gave a pass to Bill Clinton for getting oral sex from an intern in the hallway adjoining the Oval Office....

You heard this a lot during the Clinton/Lewinsky era: that our acceptance of Bill Clinton's infidelity meant we'd rejected American values and become Continental. (William Bennett, of course, wrote an entire book on the scandal, entitled The Death of Outrage; the publisher's promotional copy for the book claimed that it "torpedoes the deep but wholly unexamined respect for European sophistication about 'private matters'" that so distressed Bennett and other right-wingers.)

Right-wingers think Strauss-Kahn did what he's alleged to have done because he's French and a socialist (and a hypocrite socialist because he stays in expensive hotels), not because he's, y'know, a sex criminal. And I imagine they're going to be equally smug about this guy, whom they don't like -- ignoring the fact that they liked him a lot eight years ago, when he was concealing the newly revealed information, and they stuck by him even as Strauss-Kahn-like allegations were made against him:

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, separated after she learned he had fathered a child more than a decade ago -- before his first run for office -- with a longtime member of their household staff.

Shriver moved out of the family's Brentwood mansion earlier this year, after Schwarzenegger acknowledged the paternity. The staff member worked for the family for 20 years, retiring in January....

In the months before that election, Schwarzenegger was accused of multiple sexual violations -- and admitted to a few. Remember?

Arnold Schwarzenegger has confessed to behaviour that "offended people" after a newspaper reported that he sexually harassed women over a 25-year period.

The actor, who hopes to be voted in as Governor of California in next week's election, apologised after six women accused him of sexual harassment between 1975 and 2000, in an article in Thursday's Los Angeles Times.

They allege that he grabbed their breasts or buttocks, tried to take off a woman's bathing suit, and asked a woman if a particular sex act had been performed on her....


...when Arnold came to London in 2000, his behaviour led insiders to label him 'the octopus'.

When TV presenter Anna Richardson interviewed Arnold for Big Screen at the Dorchester Hotel, he asked her pointblank if her breasts were real. He then pulled her onto his knee, circled her nipple with his finger, squeezed it and announced: 'Yeah, they are real.'

And when Denise Van Outen interviewed him for The Big Breakfast, he slapped her bottom then brushed his arm against her breast. Afterwards, he smirked: 'It was a handful. I never know if my wife's watching. I'll tell her it was a stuntman.'


In an upcoming article headlined "Arnold the Barbarian," the magazine alleges that Schwarzenegger has caused pain in his marriage. Lots of it.

One journalist claims to have seen Schwarzenegger "making out" with his "Total Recall" costar, Rachel Ticotin. A former employee says he pawed Linda Hamilton while her then-boyfriend, "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" director James Cameron, looked the other away. And two witnesses say they watched horrified as the brawny actor accosted a female crew member working on "T2," "put his hands inside her blouse" and sent her crying to a nearby trailer.

So, um, with all that going on, you'd assume that Roger L. Simon, not wanting to contribute to the "Frenchification" of America, would vote for anyone else -- right? Nope. Simon proudly voted for Schwarzenegger, and then saw his victory as a welcome death knell to politics as usual.

A lot of right-wingers were wary of Schwarzenegger's non-wingnutty ideas -- but they knew we liberals opposed him, and they knew California was a blue state, so they saw him as a Republican gateway drug, an ur-Scott Brown, and they rushed to his defense when he was attacked. (Simon himself was a recent convert to conservatism, of the "9/11 changed everything" variety; 9/11 was a subtext in Schwarzenegger's victory, in that he was running as a movie tough guy at a time when Republicans still felt smug and triumphant about their not-yet-discredited Iraq escapade.)

Right-wingers have never really cared about bad sexual behavior by their own kind -- they're a hell of a lot angrier at Newt Gingrich for defending health care mandates than they ever were about his multiple marriages. They're going to pretend they never liked Schwarzenegger, but I was doing this all those years ago, and trust me, they were thrilled when he won that first governor's race. And they knew he was sexually "French." They didn't care.

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