I don’t have the stomach to watch the psychodrama that is the Obama-Boehner bromance gone wrong. It is far too depressing to imagine that these two men are going to actually bring the U.S. economy and possibly the world economy to its knees because one cannot compromise and the other cannot man up enough to use his constitutional power to raise the debt-ceiling on his own.
Instead I am focusing on that other American psychodrama that will also come to fruition on August 1: the Dominique Strauss-Kahn rape case. Yesterday, his accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, went public and gave interviews to ABC News and Newsweek to argue her case.
Normally alleged rape victims do not come forward and publicly make their case, but Ms. Diallo has had to endure the kind of smear campaign in the press that normally doesn’t happen. Indeed, every aspect of her personal life has been scrutinized and then some things just completely made up about her (like the claim she was a sex-worker that Murdoch’s New York Post published despite it being completely not true).
Diallo knows that the case against Strauss-Kahn is likely to be dropped at the August 1 hearing and these interviews were a Hail Mary pass to try to change the outcome of the case. Appearing very sincere, Ms. Diallo answered to the question
“Did you ever agree to have sex with this man?”
“NO! I see him as a naked man… I believe that he was going to kill me… I don’t know the law, what they’re going to do to me. I don’t know if they was going to kill me or not. I don’t know, because when I see he was powerful man, I was so scared… That doesn’t mean … this man tried to rape me. He tried to rape me.”
I am not sure any of us should be watching these interviews. It’s not just prurient; it seems downright antithetical to the legal process. But watching Strauss-Kahn and Diallo exchange claims in the press is way less scary than watching Obama and Boehner’s “he said he said” spat. It’s also true that the news media has already made this a trial by press and public opinion by publishing everything they could find and some of what they made up about Ms. Diallo’s past, from lying on her tax returns to lying in order to get asylum in the U.S. to “dating a drug dealer” to “being a prostitute.”
And now we will have to wait and see whether we believe her account and if we do, whether that will be enough to convince the prosecutor to not drop the charges on August 1. Regardless of the outcome, I am guessing that will be a day that will not make us proud to be Americans, for sex or money, in Washington or New York.