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."
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.