Doubling Down .. For What?

OK, I am finally going to break under the pressure.  I have resisted posting on Roman Polanski's extradition.  Like many, I shook my head in amazement at all the Hollywood apologia for a man who drugged, raped and sodomized a 13-year old girl.  But I expected it to mostly blow over.  I figured a few Hollywood stars would make a pro forma statement to cement their sophistication credentials, then move on, in the same way they buy a Prius to establish their environmental bona fides and then hop on their G5 to fly to Gstaad.

But I am just amazed at how many folks seem willing to double down on their defense of Polanski, as illustrated by Anne Applebaum's refusal to concede the facts.  Is this really the the right spot to choose to draw the line in the sand and battle bourgeois moralizing or religious fundamentalism?   Heck, I probably support the legalization of more personal behaviors and practices than most liberals, and even I see Polanski's behavior as on the very wrong side of a pretty bright moral line.

This is like watching Lee stubbornly keep trying to attack Union positions on the third day at Gettysburg or Burnside throwing his men against the near impregnable Southern position at Fredericksburg.  You just want to go to them and say "guys, this is terrible ground to fight a battle.  Retire from here and go find a better spot."

Update: Freaking incredible, via Patrick at Popehat, is this:

Some of the [television and film] industry's most prominent women said they believe Polanski, who faces a sentence as low as probation and as high as 16 months in prison for pleading guilty to having sex with a minor, should be freed. "My personal thoughts are let the guy go," said Peg Yorkin, founder of the Feminist Majority Foundation [owner of Ms. Magazine]. "It's bad a person was raped. But that was so many years ago. The guy has been through so much in his life. It's crazy to arrest him now. Let it go. The government could spend its money on other things."

Patrick points out that Ms. Yorkin did not always have so casual and comfortable attitude about rape.

Update #2: By the way, the similarities between this episode and one written by Mario Puzo in the Godfather 10 years earlier are striking to me.  Obviously Polanski wasn't the model for the producer Woltz, but someone real probably was.


  1. Jens Fiederer:

    Regardless of the rest of the case, I've got to say that the insistence on the legal definition of "trial" is a bit absurd. I know better NOW, after having read about the distinction, but I'm pretty sure that the common person, like me, calls that deal where you go into a courtroom with your lawyer and have to say stuff a "trial" regardless of what the plea was (with a "full trial" not happening on a guilty plea).

    I've had to live with the press's definition of "hacker" (to US, it was just an enthusiast/expert with NO indication of any wrongdoing), so let popehat live with its definition of "trial".

  2. Fred from Canuckistan . . .:

    Whoppi Goldberg will forever more be known as Whoppi "Rape-Rape Goldberg.

  3. Tom G:

    I suspect that Fred is right. Whoopi must not have read the grand jury testimony, because it clearly spells out that what Roman had done was, in fact, "rape rape". And call me a bit surprised that a woman was trying to draw such a distinction in the first place.

  4. Foxfier:

    Giving alcohol, sedatives and (apparently) meth to a 13 year old girl, making her strip naked, violating her with tongue and penis, including sodomy, while she STILL said no and wanted her mother, and admitting under oath that it was with full knowledge she was 13, pleading guilty to basically a carnal knowledge charge, then running?

    I'd say that's a pretty bloody clear line, yes. Me, I'm more of the "raping little girls should result in death or dire bodily harm" sort.

    Apparently, AllahPundit did the best one-liner, from Twitter:
    Polanski’s next film is so great, they'll let him rape eight year olds.

  5. Gil:

    "Let it go. The government could spend its money on other things"

    Like parking tickets?

    Like most people, I'm stunned at the female support for Polanski.

  6. perlhaqr:

    I say, (yes, with full knowledge of what I'm implying) that he should be stuffed in the jail cell right next to Charles Manson.

  7. nom de guerre:

    i think tammy bruce demonstrated pretty clearly a few years back that there's an actual scale for liberal compassion and caring. bruce was the (lesbian, not that it matters here) president of the LA chapter of the nat'l organization for women. back when OJ was working through his anger problems towards his ex-wife and her boyfriend.

    bruce went nuts: OJ had *obviously* killed a womyn! it was time for NOW to swing into action, storm the streets, speak truth to power and rock the male-dominated power structure! she was gonna raise some HELL, y'know?

    then she got a call from the NATIONAL chapter of NOW. "mustn't criticize OJ", she was told. "can't be sen as racist; never mind the fellow woman he pretty much decapitated. let it go." that was the final straw for her, i guess. she's now a conservative author, talk radio gal, pundit - whatever they call them now. the point is, in the liberal pantheon of victims to be supported, women are WAAAY down the list. it's why liberals backed OJ. why they defended bubba. why they re-elected ted kennedy again and again, and never no never mentioned the word 'kopechne'. it's why they're gathering around poor horny polanski and fighting the good fight for him.

    it's (yet another reason) to be contemptuous of feminism and its adherents: deep down, they don't respect themselves and know the crap they're selling about 'respect and empowerment' is a giant steaming load. THEY don't even believe it, but still they insist we're supposed to. odd. (in other news, i note where the "feminists" have forgiven alec baldwin for pounding on his wife [it's regrettable, but she was probably asking for it] and drunkenly calling his 13-year-old daughter "you little pig". *congratulations* on that emmy, there, alec! it's always heart-warming when a prestigious award like that goes to the *right sort* of person, isn't it?)

  8. the other coyote:

    Didn't I read that Anne Appelbaum conveniently forgot to tell her readers that her husband is a European government lobbyist for Polanski's release? I don't even believe my local weatherman any more; if he says the sun's out, I'm danged sure going to walk outside and look for myself.

  9. tehag:

    None of the evils which have befallen Polanski and which are claimed as substitutes for punishment for his rape of a child, namely his suffering in WW2 (great though it was) and his oppression by communism, occurred *after* the rape. I know of no legal or moral principle which allows criminals to serve time in advance of the crime.

  10. CC:

    “Let it go. The government could spend its money on other things”
    Like parking tickets?
    Like most people, I’m stunned at the female support for Polanski.