Monday, July 09, 2007

A New Low?

It's been a week now since the President commuted Scooter Libby's 30-month prison sentence for lying to a grand jury, and the dust has settled enough to take a look at what (if anything) is significant about the story.

So is this a new low for George II?

Unfortunately, no. Unfortunately because this is merely more of the same hypocrisy that has come to define this President every bit as much as he has been defined by incompetence and hubris.

The President who has long called for tougher sentencing and mandatory minimums can lay all that aside when it's one of his own being sentenced. The sentence handed down by judge appointed by Bush, following guidelines established by his own "Justice" Department, following a conviction gained by a federal prosecuter also appointed by Bush, is now deemed "excessive."

I suppose that my considered take on the issue is that it would be cause for outrage or sadness if it wasn't so utterly, completely and cynically expected.

The cynicism shown in the action -- even the fact that it was a commutation not a pardon (yet! there will be one eventually) was cynical, as that merely allows Scooter to avoid the orange jump suit while still retaining his right to a 5th amendment stonewall of any further civil litigation or Congressional investigations -- is now only matched by the cynicism of the country which has come to expect so little from the smallest of Presidents.

If this were a parliamentary system he would have been ousted long ago, but it isn't. The unfortunate fact is that we are stuck with a man whose ability to lead is rapidly diminishing into insignificance, but who still has a hand on many, many levers of power -- from this pardon power, to the veto power, to the power established by his appointments to the Supreme Court and the rest of the judiciary ... as long as they don't lose track of who they should be sticking it to and who's felonies they should be ignoring.


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