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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bush got him a little Scooter.

What can I say? I felt a little whimsical. There is a silver lining in the whole Scooter Libby sentence commutation: Libby is still a convicted felon, he still has $250k in restitution to pay, and he still has probation to serve. He didn't take documents out of the National Archives and destroy them in the middle of an investigation(Berger), and he didn't evade taxes and make deals with Iran during the hostage crisis (Marc Rich). I'm sorry, but I don't see where the GOP at large in a much worse position on the issue of letting the guilty go free than the Democrats. At least Libby is still a convicted felon, which is more than can be said about Rich or Berger. Honestly, the Democrats should be grateful for Bush's deep unpopularity and the short memory of the body politic. If you're in the mood to search for hypocrisy, there's more than enough for most of the major players to get seconds and thirds and eat crow until their bellies are full. With the Clinton White House, you had Byzantine levels of corruption. With the Bush II White House, you have cronyism taken to new depths of depravity. In both, you have a systematic pattern of obstruction of justice and perjury, although only under Dumbya was a top aide prosecuted for it. As far as I'm concerned, take your pick. I'm disgusted by both and am appalled by the harm each did to this nation in their own unique way. And frankly, in both cases, the truest form of rebellion either President's children could do is by choosing not to be such fucking embarrassments.

There are, however, some Democrats who can claim a moral high ground on this issue. While I didn't hear any Congressional Democrats calling for an independent investigation in 2001, not all of today's major players were prominent figures on the national stage at that time. Most notably, I'm referring to Senator Obama. In 2001, I believe he was a state legislator in Illinois, and regardless, he was truly a non-entity on the national stage. If a state legislator expresses outrage, even a leader in such a body, who really notices? Is it really knowable what Senator Obama's position was on that issue in 2001? I'm not stating that Democrats should not express their outrage over Bush's latest stunt. I'm just saying that in many cases, it rings more than a bit hollow. I'm not saying this in the defense of the GOP, Bush, or, frankly, anyone other than Obama. For a long time, I've detested both of the major political parties fairly equally, and it's this type of "Do as I say, not as I do" shit that really pisses me off.

Enjoy the music.


Snave said...

Good opining there, MC!

It is enough to make me think there is a very large problem with the concept of presidential pardons, and that maybe a president shouldn't be able to grant pardons "just because". It seems to have become little more than a way for presidents to save themselves from embarrassment, to keep themselves out of trouble, and to save their buddies from the same things.

There shouldn't be any excuses made or special privileges granted for people who break the law, whether it was Clinton lying about blowjobs or Libby lying about who committed what could be construed as acts of treason. The point is, they both swore to tell the truth... and they didn't tell the truth in court. Perjury damages the integrity of our system of law, and I believe it is a crime which does deserve punishment. Conservative lionization of Oliver North as a "hero" absolutely makes me want to vomit. It wouldn't surprise me if Scooter soon has his own gig as a TV or radio talker soon enough, and that he will also be built into something legendary. On the same note, I didn't mind some of the things Clinton did as president, but when I look at him now on the campaign trail with Hillary, the words that come to my mind are "liar" and "womanizer" more than "good" or "great president". And even Hillary didn't deserve that kind of treatment from her husband... no woman does. I may be a lefty, but I harbor enough "family values" to know that Bill Clinton was a schmuck, and unless he has gotten help, he probably still is a schmuck.

I guess that each opportunity to do something that comes and goes pisses me off re. each particular instance, and I tend not to look at an overall pattern over years, as you do here. That makes me a fairly typical American, I guess. When I say "do something" I mean for the public to rise up and demand changes, and each time some jerk pardons a fellow jerk who deserves what he has coming, or each time someone does something like commuting a sentence for a felon... presents an opportunity for us to all get mad enough and express enough outrage that something will be done. Thus, I tend to focus on the present when it comes to things like Bush's gift to Libby. It's like "O.K., here is yet another instance of what we might call abuse of power. Are we going to do something this time, or just let it slide again?"

I tend to not get pissed off about this kind of thing as much as I get frustrated and find myself with feelings of hopelessness about America.

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

Well, I tend to get pissed off about this type of thing because I get frustrated and find myself with feelings of hopelessness about America. I believe there's a poem that goes something like "Rage, RAGE against the dying of the light!" In that vein, so I shall.

Snave said...

That's a great one, Dylan Thomas, I think. I hadn't thought of mentioning that one for a while... may have to post it!