Free Markets, Free People

The Polanski Thing

I don’t get it.  Where’s NOW?  Where are all the women’s groups?  Where are all the agitated ladies yelling “no means no!”  Where are the children’s rights organizations demanding Polanski’s extradition?

And what in the world is going on in Hollywood?  If ever anyone wanted to point to the decadence in our country this provides the example.

Here, let’s let Kate Harding provide a little clarity, shall we:

Roman Polanski raped a child. Let’s just start right there, because that’s the detail that tends to get neglected when we start discussing whether it was fair for the bail-jumping director to be arrested at age 76, after 32 years in “exile” (which in this case means owning multiple homes in Europe, continuing to work as a director, marrying and fathering two children, even winning an Oscar, but never — poor baby — being able to return to the U.S.).

Got that? He raped a child. He plead guilty to a lesser charge, but in fact he raped a child. Then he fled. You tell me, if it was some poor Wal-Mart frequenting, no-name red-neck who had done that 30 years ago and then taken off and hidden out in a double-wide for all this time, Hollywood would be having benefits for the victim and howling for the blood of the rapist. The women of The View would be demanding justice. Dr. Phil would be on Oprah telling the world of the long-term trauma and effect this sort of event can cause. Nancy Grace would be pounding the podium and telling the world this isn’t about the forgiveness of the victim, but justice.

Instead, as Harding points out, we’re hearing every excuse in the book from the glitterati (not necessarily the one’s I’ve named) as to why Polanski should skate. He’s been in “exile” for 30 years. Really? He’s lived in France. Although some may consider that to be a form of “exile” few prisoners convicted of rape would consider living there, fathering 2 children and generally enjoying the lifestyle of the rich and famous to be “exile”, much less punishment.

Instead, what it all boils down too is he’s an artist and artists are different than the little people and should be treated differently. I mean, don’t you know they don’t have to follow the rules?  Haven’t you watched the awards shows or followed their lives on Entertainment Tonight? It is they who get to define what is good or right, or so they believe. They can ignore the rules and flaunt them, because, you know, they have a talent which millions enjoy. That makes them special and certainly more special than some floozy 13 year old child who’s life has come to  nothing in comparison.

And besides, Polanski escaped justice long enough, thanks to our friends in France who refused to extradite an admitted child rapist, that he’s should be allowed to slide, or so his defenders rationalize.

The fact that she’s forgiven him (since justice was never done, what other choice did she have but bottle it up and let it poison her life?) and wants to avoid the publicity is understandable.  Her mental health has demanded she find a way to put this behind her because the justice system was never able to bring her any sort of satisfaction or closure.

However, this isn’t really about her anymore – it’s about child rape and the simple fact that it is never right, never excusable and is always punishable, no matter how long it takes to track the perp down. That’s justice. You can’t drag Bubba out of the trailer and put him in jail for however long is appropriate if you can’t drag Polanski back from Switzerland and do the same.

~McQ

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37 Responses to The Polanski Thing

  • I don’t get it. Where’s NOW? Where are all the women’s groups?

    ***
    Same place they were when Clinton was playing hide-the-cigar with his subordinate….

  • ANd I see the Hollywood left is lining up to defend him, too.
    One wonders… What, shy of voting Republican would get Hollywood mad?

    • Apparently to Hollywood, having sex with a 13 year old is bad only if you’re a Catholic priest.

  • We don’t get it, we have to be enlightened.

    Like..um,
    Whoopie Goldberg! She’s added a new definition to the dictionary for this.
    There’s rape, and then, there’s rape-rape.
    You know, so, rape is kinda sorta okay, it’s rape-rape that’s the problem. Polanski didn’t rape-rape the girl, he just uh, raped her. And since he’s an ‘Ar-teest’, well you just HAVE to forgive him. It’s the same as imagining Mary Jo Kopeckne would have happily died knowing Ted Kennedy would go on to become a revered Senator fighting for social justice!

    Rape-rape is waaaaaay worse! It makes normal rape seem like dinner at your mom’s!
    We’d understand if we had a national audience, but no, we’re just a bunch of damn flyover country redneck rubes.

  • There’s rape, and then, there’s rape-rape.

    So Whoopi, riddle me this: what exactly would be the dosage at which rohypnol sex plying be considered rape-rape, rather than just rape? Because right now, I’ll wager there are lots of degenerates just waiting on that answer.

    I’ll bet that Hollywood would be less sanguine if Polanski were a conservative.

    • More to the point, what would be the dosage at which rohypnol would make Whoopi look good?

    • I’m waiting for the day we have to further quantify it – you know, when we’re comparing rape to rape-rape, to rape-rape-rape.

      Rape-rape-rape, which we haven’t had to quantify yet, is probably when you ride down out of the hills and destroy the town and rape-rape-rape the girls and women. Unless you’re an artist maybe, or perhaps a leftist guerrilla type like Che’ Guevara riding down, destroying a conservative plantation, and rape-raping the girls and women before you depart back to
      the safety of the revolutionary friendly hills and jungles.

      I’m gathering Hollywood views Polanski as a ‘friendly’ rapist, not a rapist-rapist.

      And that’s the difference.

      Someone has to suffer for his art, in this case it was a 13 year old girl, oh well. I mean, surely that incident, and being unable to enter the US (not sure why he’d want to DO that, we’re a terrible place by all accounts, with no socialized medicine, and backwards views of the world not much different than Islamic fundamentalists) has caused Polanski’s ‘art’ to improve. I have to conclude the sacrifice of a 13 year old girls body and emotions was acceptable. And besides! it happened such a Loooooooooooong time ago. Shocking that we’d want justice! Just proves how BACKWARD we are.

      Where is professor Erb, he’ll remind us how enlightened MOST (obviously NOT the SWISS!!!!) Europeans are about this sort of thing!

  • Maybe operatives at the CIA could claim that they raped their al Qaeda prisoners .. oh .. didn’t they sort of rape the prisoners at abu Ghraib prison … and they took pictures, just like Roman Polanski did with the 13 year old.

    Now we have the proof that abu Ghraib prison really wasn’t that bad .. they were trying to do their “Roman Polanski” thing.

  • I don’t know much about the case, but does anyone know if Polanski was a persistent offender? Were there other criminal complaints filed against him by other underage girls either in the U.S. or Europe or perhaps even Asia or elsewhere?

    It’s just not that clear to me why he has stayed out on the lamb for so long. He could have, and still can, come back and do some time and get on with it. He would probably be treated with a modicum of leniency, get his conscience cleaned, and then have some latter years to live un-haunted by this thing.

    I doubt that the authorities would throw him into the general population of some L.A. jail or California prison where he’d have his throat slit. That would be the equivalent of using the system to murder him.

    But if there’s more to this than the one charge, well, that could be the problem.

    • Well, the bigger problem for him now isn’t the unlawful sex with a minor plea bargain, but the flight. Jumping bail, fleeing the country before sentencing and refusing court orders to return, and so on often ends up with the accused (or in this case the self-confessed) getting much harsher treatment than they otherwise would: Generally speaking, The Courts get really, really pissy when you flout their authority.

  • I await with baited breath the first liberal on some program (Jay Leno?) to demand Polanski’s release.

    That will be the tipping point, when liberalism becomes not just a really bad idea, but a threat to this country. And it will be on display for all to see.

    • I await with baited breath the first liberal on some program (Jay Leno?) to demand Polanski’s release.

      I wouldn’t hold your breath for too long, as I don’t see it happening with great frequency.
      There might be your odd actor here and there that shows support for the cretin*; but show me one, and I’ll show you a has-been.

      * Like Deborah Winger calling the Swiss Judiciary a “collusion of philistines.”
      Heh, my jaw dropped.
      Yes, cowgirl, the best way to convince people of your position is to call the people who detained a rapist “philistines.”

      Just… wow!

  • I could not care less what the Hollywood crowd says about this. On the other hand I think what the victim has to say about it is important.

    Consider this:
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/09/29/polanski.victim.profile/index.html

    • Her testimony could certainly be relevant at Polanski’s sentencing hearing or appeals. But until he turns himself in (or is handed over by the Swiss), her comments serve mostly as PR for Polanski. And I don’t feel that it has anything to do with the handling of his criminal case.

    • “On the other hand I think what the victim has to say about it is important. ”

      When the victim was 13 at the time, its child rape. Period.

  • I disagree with Ms. Geimer’s sentiment to drop the whole thing but I do think that sort of decision should ultimately rest with her. She is the victim here.

    Personally, I’d rather see Polanski in dark, dank, hole for what he did. I guess I’m not as forgiving as Ms. Geimer.

  • It’s definitionally exile, but it’s not a punishment. Or at least, not a significant one.

    tkc: Justice isn’t purely about the victim, though. There are, after all, other people involved, if indirectly.

    If a rapist gets off without serious punishment because he ran long enough for the victim to move on and forgive him, that’s a terrible precedent and a terrible incentive.

    On the contrary, if the law never stops pursing a rapist on the run, and will wait 30 years to bring him in even if the victim has forgiven him, that’s an excellent precedent and excellent incentive against future crime.

    (To the extent that any deterrence that isn’t a bullet will work, at least – but the effect can’t be zero. And in any case, since the goal is not merely revenge, the forgiveness of the victim can’t be legally controlling.)

  • Why does he care that he cannot return to the USA? I thought all the Hollowood lefties considered the USA a horrible wasteland.

  • Sidivald:
    I don’t think government should be in the business of deterrence because that implies that we should live in fear of it.
    OTOH, rapists such as Polanski have every reason to live in fear.

    IMHO, justice should first, and foremost, be about the victim. Vindication for the state is a distance second.

    That said, this isn’t really a good example to plant a banner on. If Polanski ends up in jail my final thoughts will be, “Good for him.” even if Ms. Geimer wanted it dropped.

    • Our justice system is about deterrents not about vengeance. He raped a 13 year old. We want to stop that behavior in the future and he needs to be punished accordingly.

  • Just out of curiosity, what is a Libertarian stance on age of consent laws. If 12 is the generally the age of onset of menses, some might argue that a 13 year old can consent to sex. I am not suggesting she did. I am just curious to hear from some of you who are often very opinionated about the government setting the statutory rules of conduct and then outlawing interpersonal behavior. I am not trying to be a jerk…I am genuinely curious for your feedback

    • I for one have no problems with age of consent laws since I understand that there is some protection necessary for those who aren’t able, yet, to rationally consent to behavior. One of the primary functions of the law and the state is to prevent coercion.

      At the time Polanski was raping this 13 year old, the age of consent in California was 16 (although some have falsely claimed it was 14). I have a 13 year old grandson. By observation I understand that he could easily be manipulated into agreeing to something which would be harmful to him by an adult and he’s a pretty smart lad.

      The interesting thing about this case, though, is she wasn’t manipulated into anything. She said “no” at every turn. So an “age of consent” argument seems irrelevant in this case since it is clear that no consent was given for the acts perpetrated on her.

      • He plied her with alcohol and drugs, then ignored her demands to stop while he raped her a varity of ways, including anal. If she was 18, it would have been rape.

      • This guy should do his time and do it in the general prison population. Just like anyone else. I see no reason why he should get any special consideration. Having to experience what the child he violated experienced might spark his creative juices, so to speak, and lead to some useful public service productions. What he did to this child is inexcusable and I never have figured out why people pay any attention at all to people who make a living memorizing and quoting back what other people say.

      • McQ, the age of consent in California has been 18 since about 1913.

        • OK – I had read elsewhere that it was 16 at the time (not an uncommon AoC) and had been changed to 18 since. But I’ll bow to the superior knowledge of someone who lives there and is probably more familiar with the law than I am.

  • My small L libertarian view is 18 (simply for pragmatic reasons) and to use some common sense.

  • Where oh where have all the leftists gone? Insane. They are steeped in hypocrisy. They were too slow to jump out of the comfy warm pot of sanctimonious fraud and are now floating in the roiling soup like brain dead frogs. Democrats are afflicted with hypocrisy to the point that it should be added to the DSM-IV. It could be termed “Democrisy.” Intervention and medication are needed, NOW.

  • He is a Polish-French citizen. How is it “exile” to simply return to your homeland?

  • The good part: Polanski had already pled to a lesser charge, been found guilty and was due to be sentenced, when he rabbited and went, therefore, into self-imposed “exile” – so, there’s no need for any re-trial, or for any other court action beyond a long-delayed sentencing hearing, then popping him into the pokey*.

    The only bad part: He’s about 32 years late for his sentencing – shouldn’t there be some sort of additional penalty for that?

    My best guess is, they’ll sentence him, then immediately probate his entire sentence – based on 32 years’ “good behavior” – then fine him, and…let him go free.

    Somewhat-interesting related question: Any information on whether his attorney from roughly 32 years ago is still alive – much less still an active lawyer?

    *Where, with any luck at all, he’d quickly become everybody’s favorite punch-board – I hear they still don’t have much liking for “short-eyes” inside.