Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Europe's Priapic Clown

He visualizes himself as an irresistible stud. A prancing, elegantly mincing, muscle-bound aristocrat of the bedroom, irresistible to women, irrespective of their age. Of course, he does have his own preferences. He may be a little long in the tooth himself, but it's the fresh-faced, firm-bodied young women who attract him. He deserves no less.

This quipping, egocentric man, wealthy beyond the dreams of most Italians and as corrupt as can almost be imagined, relishes the combination of charm and power that he believes he exudes. He quite dotes on himself. It doesn't embarrass him one bit that he courts young women the same age as his own offspring.

Or that he sacrificed a long-time marriage to a beautiful and intelligent woman to the juvenile appeal of cavorting when the mood strikes him - and that appears to occur pathetically often - with his public displays of sex-laced narcissism. He simply cannot deny himself any opportunities to experience sexual liaisons with a fillip of illicit overtones.

He may be 74 years of age, but there's no diminishment of his appetites. He revels in the attention that his outrageous displays of exuberance in life's opportunities attract. He can never quite feel his time in the limelight does harm to his reputation, for he has no reputation left, to speak of, and he finds that more than acceptable.

The Italian voting public appears by turns bemused and amused at his antics. After all, what macho male doesn't find appeal in wealth, self-confidence, power and pulchritude? Silvio Berlusconi has all those and more, in abundance. What's more, who is there in the Italian parliament prepared to confront him?

Particularly when, if a non-confidence vote in Parliament did succeed in voting down the government, all those other lawmakers from his party and opposition parties would be involved of necessity in the dissolution of the current government, and an election to follow. Where many stand the risk of failing to be re-elected.

And if that happened, migod, there goes their extravagant salaries and pensions. There are some principles that are quite simply too costly to support. Outrage with the performance of a prime minister who insults the integrity and importance of his office, just doesn't cut it as a reason to risk losing all of that.

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