Full disclosure: I’ve often stayed at the Sofitel myself, though without billing Western taxpayers for the pleasure. Nor do I generally require the three-grand suite. Given how comfortable the Sofitel’s more modest accommodations are, I wonder whether even M. Strauss-Kahn does. Especially when he’s presiding over an IMF with a budget deficit of some $400 million. But perhaps it would be unreasonable to ask so famously unzippered a man to tighten his belt. After all, according to Ben Stein, my former colleague at The American Spectator, DSK is “one of the most recognizable people on the planet.” Many’s the time I’ve seen him exiting a swank restaurant with Justin Bieber and Lindsay Lohan and said, “Hey, there’s Dominique Strauss-Kahn with Wossname and Thingummy!”
Fortunately, when the burdens of recognizability get too great, M. Strauss-Kahn is able to retreat to his house in Washington, or his apartment in Paris, or his second apartment in Paris, or his riad in Marrakesh. Oh, c’mon, you provincial bozos: A “riad” is a palatial Moorish residence built around an interior courtyard. Everyone knows that. A lifetime of devoted “public service” in “socialist” France isn’t yet as remunerative as in Mubarak’s Egypt or Saddam’s Iraq, but we’re getting there. As the developed world drowns under the weight of Big Government, the gilded princelings of statism will hunker down in their interior courtyards and guard their privileges ever more zealously. Once in a while, as in that Manhattan hotel suite, a chance encounter between the seigneurs and their subjects will go awry, but more often, as in the Geithner confirmation, it will be understood that the Great Men of the Permanent Governing Class cannot be bound by the rules they impose on the rest of you schmucks.
Yes, they Kahn. You, not so much. After Charlie Rangel, chair of the House committee that writes America’s tax laws, was “censured” by Congress for multiple infractions of, er, America’s tax laws, a Washington Times
reporter invited him to imagine what punishment the “average American citizen” would have received had he done what the Congressman did. “Please,” Rangel told her. “I don’t deal in average American citizens.”
— Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is author of America Alone. © 2011 Mark Steyn.