Friday, July 06, 2007

Pardon Me!?!

Let's get one thing straight – Lewis “Scooter” Libby has not been pardoned by President Bush. His sentence has been commuted. He still pays a $250,000 fine, and will not be able to practice law. If he was pardoned, then he wouldn't have to pay the fine and he would be allowed to practice law.

So he didn't pull a Bill Clinton, who seemed to pardon almost everyone around him for similar and worse crimes. So why are the Democratic candidates (especially HRC) making so much of this? In a word – politics.

The problem that the Democratic candidates have is that they are not running against President Bush in the next election. They really don't have anything else to showcase what they stand for. National or universal healthcare is an issue that might fly at first blush, but if anyone with half a brain thinks about it for any length of time, this is one elephant that no one wants in the same room. All the candidates have stated is that they will raise taxes on the wealthy, but they differ on who exactly fits in that category. They also want to repeal the tax cuts that helped boost the economy (and exactly what do they think this will do?) They can try to hang their hats on Iraq, and they might get some traction there, but again, they are not running against Bush. And let's not even talk about the “culture of corruption” - both parties have major problems with this one.

So they are left with trying to make political hay over a commuted sentence. Big deal. But since they decided to bring up the rhetoric a notch or two, why don't we chew on this one for a couple of minutes...

Why don't we start with the Democrats favorite son, the former President Bill Clinton. Looking at his pardon record at the US Department of Justice, there are so many pardons that he issued it is unbelievable. Some of the most notorious are Marc Rich, who was pardoned while he was still evading authorities and after his family made a $1,000,000 “donation” to the DNC. Then there were the FALN pardons timed to help his wife gain the New York Puerto Rican vote in her successful bid for the Senate. Or how about his brother's drug sentence? All in all, Bill Clinton pardoned and commuted the sentences of over 180 people for various crimes.

Compare Bill Clinton to his predecessor, George H. W. Bush, who only pardoned and commuted the sentences of 78 people. The current President, George Bush, currently has a paltry 117 pardons and commutations.

In all fairness, many of the pardons issued by all the Presidents were for run of the mill items. But some really stand out, and others are for the same types of offenses. But the political rhetoric is incredible!!

So now the Democratic Presidential hopefuls are screaming at the top of their lungs, “Unfair! Unfair!” to which could I say “Can it!!” Or maybe we should keep quiet and let these buffoons continue to shoot themselves in the foot. After all, the more noise they make, the more scrutiny they bring upon themselves (especially HRC), and the more attention they will garner on their many faults.

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