Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Here's a quick duck-in to discuss some hobbyhorses of mine--the Polanski debacle, and the Senate filibuster rules! (What, you didn't know I have an obsession with that? Good thing most of you haven't met me in person, I natter on about them a lot.)

First, Jay Smooth does an amazing take down of all the arguments people have been throwing around about why Rapin' Roman should go free or something:

Like a lot of people, I always like Jay Smooth, but that was teh awesome.

(h/t to the fabulous Lena D.)

Next, here's a nifty piece from Gail Collins and everyone's favorite muddle-headed voice of conservative received wisdom, David Brooks, where they talk about the House's recent health care bill. Gail voices one of my particular frustrations with the Senate's arcane rules:
We used to think of the filibuster as a dramatic, once-in-a-blue-moon vehicle that was used only in extreme circumstances, like Jimmy Stewart in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” (What I like about that movie, in retrospect, is that Stewart was not standing there, holding the floor all by himself for hour after hour until he collapsed from exhaustion, in order to save puppies or fight unemployment. It was because the evil Claude Rains was trying to destroy his career, and Jimmy had to prove that he was as saintly as ever. It was all about him. So very Senate like.) Or, of course, when the Southerners wanted to stop civil rights legislation.

But now, a minority of senators don’t have to bother to actually keep talking, or take turns talking, or even hang around the chambers to bring progress to a screeching halt. They just declare their intention (it’s the thought that counts) and nothing can go forward without 60 votes.

That’s crazy. If we’re going to have this system, the filibuster should be reserved for matters that can’t be undone later, like important judicial nominations. Or wars. Not normal domestic policy, no matter how large.
 I so 100% agree with that. It would be a will of the people moment--if you've judged opinion correctly, then people will support your principled stand against oppressive legislation; otherwise, they'll think you're a bunch of obstructionist clowns.

Honestly, I can't see why the Democrats wouldn't go for this--can you imagine the glee in Chuck Shumer's face as he goes on talk show after talk show to run the same damn clip of Orrin Hatch reading the AMA membership lists into the Congressional Record? It would be great.

Gail then goes on to attack Joe Lieberman, which is always good fun. She doesn't, however, mention the single largest problem with the health care bills: the evil Stupak-Pitts amendment, the greatest rollback in women's health and reproductive rights in over a quarter of a century, and something Ms. Collins might presumably be interested in.

Unless, of course, she thinks it's just "politics" instead of "fundamental rights."

Or maybe she was afraid of offending Bobo's delicate sensibilities. WEV.


  1. Geimer's testimony is contradicted by the probation report which concludes there is evidence that the victim was "willing". The fact she has not changed her story does not make it any truer than Polanski's version which is that she was "willing". Without a trial we may never know the truth of the matter. Also it is not clear whether Polanski’s plea that he knew the girl’s age is true as he apparently later repudiated that. Of course coercion is involved in any plea bargain since the accused must make certain claims to get the plea bargain in the first place and it has been reported that Polanski had to have his arm twisted to accept the bargain which was mainly being pushed by Geimer. Thus you can see movies with a clear conscience by those who signed the petition since some of them may actually have looked at all the available evidence!

  2. O HAI Anonymous! I love your moniker, though I guess if I was defending a child rapist, I'd want to conceal my identity too--though, yanno, you could have been more creative--Like, howabout Rapey McRapington? Or F.U. Consent? Both of those would have been good!

    Your defense of Polanski fails on a remarkably large and simple point (though maybe not simple enough for you): Geimer was 13 years old. That's thirteen, as in the number after 12 and three fucking years short of the the then-age of consent in California. Consent doesn't enter into this picture.

    Let me repeat that: Consent doesn't enter the picture. BECAUSE SHE WAS 13 FUCKING YEARS OLD, ASSHOLE!

    It doesn't matter what she said or didn't say (though I believe her TESTIMONY--you know, the thing you swear is true--that she signaled early and often that she didn't want to be pawed by Rapin' McRapster). Once Polanski stuck something somewhere IN HER, it was rape. R-A-P-E.

    So, yanno, maybe YOU think that it's okay to forcible sodomize a 13 year-old girl if she sorta says you can...or maybe even if she doesn't. Me, I'll stay on the side of, you know, not raping children. Kind of a moral hard line with me.