Anne Applebaum, You've Got To Be Putting Me On

>> Thursday, October 01, 2009

In today's edition, Anne Applebaum attempts to further explain the many complexities that make it "outrageous" that someone who raped a 13-year-old and fled the authorities after pleading guilty was arrested. Apparently, the slut had it coming because her mother permitted her to be alone in the same room with Polanski:

What apalled [sic] me about that story was the mother’s reaction, which should have been “I am coming to get you right now.” There is more than one adult who bears responsibility here, which is part of what makes the story so far from straightforward.

First of all, I am (to put it mildly) skeptical of the idea that any mother who doesn't treat anyone who may interact with her daughter -- including in a professional setting! -- as a child molester is irresponsible. This is Grade A, or "Tim McCarver" level, second-guessing. But even if we assume that the victim's mother should have had the wisdom that Applebaum so easily acquired decades after the fact knowing what happened, it should be obvious that from Polanski's perspective this doesn't provide the slightest mitigation or "complexity" whatsoever. Whether or not her mother acted wisely, the choice to drug and rape an adolescent* was Polanski's alone, and he alone shares the moral and legal responsibility. It's frankly amazing that it's necessary to explain this to anyone, let alone a well-compensated national pundit.

And then, there's this:

Yes, there is “evidence” that Polanski did not know the girls age – or that he was told but did not believe it: He has told people since that, anyway. Pictures of her from the time show a girl who could be anywhere from 12-25.

Given this standard -- in which even actually being informed of a victim's age doesn't constitute evidence -- I don't see any reason to keep statutory rape laws on the books at all. But it's worse: this is the young woman that Applebaum says could be 25. I don't think further elaboration is necessary.

I'm not even sure what to say about someone who continues to invent new erroneous "facts" and transparently specious arguments to defend someone who rapes a 13 year-old, but I think Brad DeLong's argument that "there is grave moral fault attached to everybody who pays the Washington Post company a cent for any purpose whatsoever" is a good start.

*Applebaum considers this characterization erroneous, but needless to say doesn't explain which isn't true. Since both elements were admitted by Polanski in his plea agreement, I'm sticking with them...


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