Sunday, June 7, 2009

Berlusconi Chases Jailbait

It is generally the strict philosophy of this blog not to cover stories that I find overly trivial, I category that sexual scandals are emphatically falls under. While this rule is seldom broken, I am prepared to make my first exception since Eliot Spitzer.
Silvio Berlusconi's wife recently made known her desire to divorce the Prime Minister, of "consorting with minors". She further accused him of wanting to put up showgirls as candidates in his party.
The charges seem difficult to substantiate. They could just be a an embittered wife's attempt to sully her husband's reputation.
Since then, photos of a half nude party with young women (one 18) at a party with Berlusconi have appeared in al Pais.
The real issue of course is the use of public resources for private purposes. From the Guardian.
El PaĆ­s quoted the photographer, Antonello Zappadu, as saying that "virtually every weekend" Italian air force flights brought Berlusconi's friends, dancers and television hostesses to his 60-hectare weekend retreat. The paper said Zappadu had pixellated out the faces of his subjects to protect their identity.

Berlusconi has been accused of far more corrupt acts than this, and gotten around it by simply rewriting the law to prevent himself and his cronies from being prosecuted. No doubt he will avoid the law in this case as well.
The lesson of the Clinton impeachment is that sex scandals are bunk. Chasing jailbait does not make Berusconi unfit for governance, though it does make him a despicable human being. What makes Berlusconi unfit for office is that he is a corrupt, power-hungry charlatan.