There are many ways to play the great game of politics: Kim Jong Il is bluffing without any cards or money, Mubarak was that asshole kid who refused to admit you'd tagged him, and Silvio Berlusconi is playing naked Twister in a dorm full of skanks while drunk on Carlo Rossi. He's 74-years old and the 74th-richest man in the world and he's had more sex than several species of rabbit. When he first got into politics, his empire was on the verge of bankruptcy. Now he has $9 billion. He's basically Scrooge McDuck but wears pants less often. He's spent nine years running Italy like a frat house on double-secret probation. Here, we'll prove it:
5Girls, Girls, Girls
The College Movie Scenario:
Every college movie has to set up its hero first: He's irreverent but impossibly clever and has a charm all his own. The ladies can't help but love him, and Lord knows he loves the ladies. Why, one time all the girls at Cumma Lotta Laude had to panty-raid him ... because they all left their underwear in his room the night before!
"Women are magnetically drawn to my cock. It's actually caused a number of horrible injuries."
Silvio Berlusconi's Career:
Frats always have a plan for getting girls into the house, and Berlusconi does, too. It's just that his house is the House of Parliament. And damn, is he good at it: He's imported more women than the Russian mob. His entire political appointment strategy is: "Breasts. Oh, and if possible, something to carry them around." He once organized a delegation of ministers to the European Parliament consisting of a failed Miss Italy contestant, a contestant from the Italian version of Big Brother whose entire political experience consisted of being photographed on Berlusconi's knee after doing this ...
Pictured: Political Experience
... and two soap opera actresses turned half-nude Internet models. In an attempt to embody irony in sexy human form, he even appointed topless dancer Mara Carfagna as minister for equal opportunities.
Like ... 32D opportunities, yaknowmsayin?
Last year, Berlusconi went to the dentist. He came back with a new regional councilor for Lombardy. Need an explanation? The dental hygienist was an ex-showgirl.
Pictured: Political Experience, Part 2
She, in turn, is now under investigation for procuring prostitutes for him -- meaning he not only exchanges politics for women but then uses those women in a vast and presumably sweaty pyramid scheme to get more women. We couldn't cover even a tenth of the women he's appointed without being blocked by Web filters as a bizarre Italian political-fetish porn site. He's been implicated in more sex scandals than the entire Republican Party, and he very publicly does not give a fuck about how he publicly he gives fucks.
4The Legal Troubles
The College Movie Scenario:
Most college movies start with the innocent frat in dire legal straits. The evil dean sent a building inspector around who said the frat house isn't up to code. Now, if Dongwalski can't raise enough money to make the necessary fixes in a week, Shenanigan House will be finished!
The walls are mostly held together by crusted vomit and pot resin.
Silvio Berlusconi's Career:
Not surprisingly, some of Berlusconi's legal troubles go hand-in-handjob with the girls: He once responded to accusations that he'd paid for sex with an underage Moroccan prostitute named Ruby Heartthrob by publicly stating: "At least I'm not gay." He then turned an already cataclysmic one-night stand into an international incident by falsely telling police that his alleged hooker was the niece of then-President Mubarak and should be released immediately. Jesus Christ, it's like he was trying to combine all the worst possible things into one single, mighty, Voltronian mega-scandal.
His media and finance group, Fininvest, was under more governmental scrutiny than SPECTRE at the time he decided to run for office. So what's a Berlusconi to do? Well, if you can't beat them, or bribe them (he'd already tried that, and it was now a major part of the problem), join them! He up and founded his own political party two months before the general election and went from "target of criminal investigations" right to prime minister. Far be it from us to imply the influence of organized crime (no, not in Italy!), but you don't ordinarily get to just switch sides of the law like that, at least not without calling "no take-backsies" first.
That is the smile of a man who just successfully raped the justice system.
Oh wait, yes you do: Berlusconi has literally reversed how the courts work, by appearing as the defendant in a case, and then later deciding whether the law should be allowed to prosecute him or not (Pro Tip: The traditional answer is "no.") Italian criminal law has a loophole in which the statute of limitations -- how long you're allowed between the time a crime is committed and conviction of the criminal -- is still ticking down during the trial. Funnily enough, Berlusconi isn't spending much time trying to close this particular loophole (in fact, his government shortened the length of time). Most of his cases have ended with either "Guilty, but we're out of time for today" or "He probably was guilty but has just changed the law this court was meant to enforce." Berlusconi's lawyers have only one job: Keep talking until he makes the law go away, or until it gets bored and stops, which has happened more than half a dozen times now.
In 2000 he was acquitted, on appeal (the first trial sentenced him to 16 months), of a 5 million-euro fraud through Medusa Cinema. Not because his company didn't do it, but because the judge gave him the "benefit of the doubt" on the grounds that Berlusconi simply wouldn't bother to steal that little.
"I'd like to think an Italian politician can steal a little more than 5 million measly euros."
He's been re-elected twice despite having more criminal charges brought against him than the entirety of Gotham City: He once boasted that "789 prosecutors and magistrates took an interest in the politician Berlusconi from 1994 to 2006 with the aim of subverting the votes of the Italian people ... a cavalry including 577 visits by police, 2,500 court hearings and 174 million euros in lawyers' bills paid by me." It takes some serious balls to publicly brag about how your mere existence is a constant drain on the legal and financial systems of your country.
They're finally beginning to press charges against him, again, having overturned his law that made prosecuting him illegal. It's still unlikely that he'll be convicted of anything, because the Italian media love the holy shit out of their wacky playboy PM. He could be found in his mansion surrounded by a squad of extremely naked strippers, and they'd still insist there was no impropriety on Berlusconi's part. We know this because it actually happened.
Note how careful Putin is to stay outside of Berlusconi's chlamydia "splash zone."