Friday, July 06, 2007

Mark and Scooter ...

There are so many things that I find interesting about this statement:
was taught ten years ago, in a much more naive time in my life, that Republicans Care About The Rule of Law. So deep was their concern for this that they impeached a President for perjury. They also cared, as I recall, about limited government, restraining gov't spending of my money, avoiding stupid nation-building wars, and the dignity of the human person. I care about these things too, so I supported them.

Not the least of which being that the parts Mark cares the most about this criticism could just as easily have been applied to the Reagan administration. On the topic of Scooter Libby, Mark might well want to acknowledge the string of pardons connected with the Iran-Contra Affair. Certainly I suspect that all of his paleocon friends haven't.

As to the substance of the issue, the reason that Bush pardoned Scooter strikes me as being as being quite easy to defend without bringing Clinton into the discussion - that particular argument is due to the fact that Clinton decided to insert himself into the conversation. As with Iran-Contra investigations, Bush believes that the Fitzgerald investigation and subsequent prosecution had more to do with the debate over the Iraq war than it did with the issue of justice. Most of his supporters believe the same thing and as such it's not surprising that he opted to pardon the Libby. Whether or not one believes that this decision was appropriate, I think it's far more plausible than the scenario that Mark lays out about how this is a complete betrayal of conservatism and his usual ranting against Bush.

Comments like these in particular make it clear that he is nothing short of hysterical when it comes to Bush:
Then King George ascended the throne and I discovered that The Who was right: meet the new boss, same as the old boss. It turned out that the Republicans excelled the Dems in spending like drunken sailors, expanding the power of government, and turning the executive branch into a lawless cadre of men who have found new and ingenious ways to subvert the rule of law to their own personal whims and theories as they engaged in foolish nation-building wars while seeing to it that the President gained the power to arrest, detain and torture any citizen he likes, forever and ever, without having to show cause. If we've granted the executive the power to defy the law of God, why should we suddenly have hiccups when he defies a mere law of man? So why should I be especially surprised of upset when he commutes the sentence of a crony?

Awhile back, you will recall, Mark apologized for jumping the gun and declaring that Bush needed to be impeached for the good of the republic after credulously accepting a WorldNetDaily article claiming that Bush was preparing to declare himself President-for-Life. He later backed down when it became apparent to him just how kooky his source of information was. However, if he seriously believes that all of this is taking place, I would be very interested in hearing why he believes Bush doesn't deserve impeachment.

Not surprisingly, some are noting just how hysterical he is on this issue:
So when a new administration takes office and does the exact same things as the administrations before it and you proclaim it to have the "Worst President Ever" and "Worst Vice-President Ever," does that mean that everyone else gets bumped down a notch or do they simply get "Former Worst ____ Ever" in front of their names?

I know you can't wait until King George I of America abdicates in January 2009 at his successor's coronation and his family is ritually slaughtered by the new regime (as traditionally happens in American politics), but your hyperbolic hyperventilating makes you sound like a nutjob. You do fantastic work with apologetics, but somewhere along the line you somehow caught a nasty case of BDS and pre-2000 amnesia.
HokiePundit | Homepage | 07.05.07 - 2:45 pm | #


As you admitted, you haven't followed the case very closely. Based on your remarks, it shows. You have let your disgust for Bush color your judgment on this act of clemency. Using terms like "King George" and speculations about the President's conscience or lack of one disqualify your comments in my opinion. Libby wasn't charged with the underlying alleged crime of outing Valerie Plame because there was no such crime and Richard Armitage was the one who spilled the beans in the first place. Fitzgerald knew that from the start and still spent millions on the investigation, ending up with a charge of perjury against Libby where it was a case of he said/he said, the other "he's" being mainstream media reporters. In retrospect, Libby should just have claimed he couldn't remember and that would have been that. Bush in fact left Libby with a portion of his punishment. If you don't like the presidential power to grant pardons and clemency, then change the constitution. Many of us actually wish he had granted a full pardon.
Arnold | 07.05.07 - 2:50 pm | #

As Mark noted the other day, politics can make some people crazy.


Roger H. said...

There seems to be some mish-mashing of the concepts of pardons and commutations. I believe the former basically drops all charges and whatnot, while the latter excuses the person from serving jail time (or any more jail time), but does not eradicate the conviction. Seems to be enough of an important distinction that the comparison of Bush to Clinton is unwarranted.

Donald R. McClarey said...

"Then King George ascended the throne"

This comment is hilarious coming as it does after the President, rightly, lost a fight within his own party which led to the defeat of the immigration bill. Right now President Bush is a typical lame duck President limping his way to the end of his second term. To call him King George says a great deal about Mark's tenuous grasp of political reality.

Anonymous said...

On the topic of Scooter Libby, Mark might well want to acknowledge the string of pardons connected with the Iran-Contra Affair.

That's totally different. Those were done properly, i.e., between the election and Bush I's imminent departure. The proper way of doing things is important. You have sex in the Lincoln Bedroom and raise funds in the Oval Office, not the other way around.

Besides, if Lawrence Walsh had deliberately and unpardonably (pardon the pun) played role in my defeat by bringing new charges against Caspar Weinberger, you better believe I'd have used the pardon power to reduced his entire years-long investigation to dust on my way out too.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention that those charges were made four days before the frickin' election.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Mark calling Bush King George is close to accurate as a description of Bush's power. Assuming he means King George V or VI.

Donald R. McClarey said...

"Assuming he means King George V or VI."

Good one anonymous!

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

As Mark noted the other day, politics can make some people crazy.

Politics didn't make Mark crazy. Mark was already crazy. Trust me.