None too mighty for the zipper problem

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 May, 2011, 12:00am


Power has been called an aphrodisiac. That may be why many powerful men around the world have been caught with their pants down lately.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn has resigned over allegations of attempted rape, and other serious charges, which he has denied. The now former IMF chief has managed the impossible: upstaging Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is being put on trial for sex with an under-aged girl and holding so-called 'bunga bunga' sex parties.

Across the Atlantic, Republicans are having difficulty picking presidential candidates. Each time a credible name comes up, stories of infidelity and philandering are not far behind.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich may want the nomination. But there is the inconvenient matter that his current wife - his third - was a House of Representatives staffer when they had an affair. At the same time he was urging the impeachment of US president Bill Clinton for lying about sexual encounters with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.

Earlier, we learned Republican Senator John Ensign had an affair with an aide whose husband was his deputy chief of staff. Fellow Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger has admitted to fathering a child with a long-time household staffer - the reason for his unexpected divorce.

The Republicans have no monopoly on philandering, as John Edwards, the one-time Democratic presidential hopeful demonstrates. Here in Asia, some regard it as almost a crime for a powerful man not to have a few mistresses. The only difference is they are not exposed by the media so often.

What all these men - East and West - have in common is that they all think they are unaccountable. Until, of course, they are called to account.