I woke up this morning to the 231st birthday of our nation and decided not to blog given the stain on this birthday from George W. Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby. Then I learned about what Gus Bilirakis had to say:
So far, however, only one congressional Republican from Florida, Rep. Gus Bilirakis of Palm Harbor, has publicly broken with party leaders and the president, saying Bush’s decision was wrong. Most of the others have just kept mum.” Mr. Libby was tried by a jury of his peers and was convicted of a felony,” Bilirakis said in a statement. “The fact that Mr. Libby committed this crime while serving as a public official makes it all the more egregious. Excessive or not, Mr. Libby’s sentence should be respected.”
Good for Congressman Bilirakis!
Let me take this opportunity to blast the press for repeating the following line ad nauseam (see for example here):
President Bush was under pressure from conservatives to pardon Lewis “Scooter” Libby
I have two problems with this oft repeated line: (1) it insults real conservatives; and (2) it confuses causes and effect. On the first- there is a big difference between being a conservative and being a rightwing water carrier for this Machiavellian Administration. OK, most of these water carriers pretend they are conservatives. But when I think of what a conservative would do in such situations, I think of the time when Senator Goldwater approached Richard Nixon and told it was time to resign from being President. Congressman Bilirakis took a baby step in this direction but he’s no Goldwater. And the fact that the rest of the GOP members of Congress have gone silent shows we have no Goldwaters today. And don’t get me started on Mitt Romney or Fred Thompson who seem to think the outing of a CIA agent is in the finest of American traditions.
But to suggest that these rightwing water carriers pressured Bush forgets who is giving the marching orders. This Administration intended to do anything to cover-up its outing of a CIA agent. And we heard the parade of lies from the likes of the water carriers over at the National Review from the git-go. You recall: (1) there was no underlying crime; (2) Plame wasn’t a NOC; (3) it was all Richard Armitage’s fault: (3) Ms. Plame is a liberal Democrat; (4) Joe Wilson somehow lied. We are still hearing the same old crap today. It’s like Karl Rove wound up these talking puppets four years ago – and now that they have gotten out of control, he doesn’t know how to turn them off.
No – the National Review and its ilk did not pressure Bush to do anything. He had this in mind from day one of this scandal. The job of the National Review has never been to advocate policy. Rather its job is to act as Bush cheerleaders floating the trial balloons and setting the stage for the corrupt behavior of this Machiavellian Presidency. Now one might ask why a group of conservatives would assist a Machiavellian Presidency. But that’s a stupid question as the right wing water carriers of the National Review are not conservatives.
Do we have any hope as a nation returning to what our Founding Fathers envisioned. I don’t know. But if the GOP can shed its current corrupt leadership in favor of the likes of Gus Bilirakis – we may have a chance.
Happy Fourth of July!
Update: Did I say something about Mitt Romney? AP says more:
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who as Massachusetts governor refused to pardon an Iraq war veteran’s BB-gun conviction, on Tuesday called President Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby’s prison sentence “reasonable.” … The prosecutor in the case “went after somebody even when he knew no crime had been committed,” Romney said. “Given that fact, isn’t it reasonable for a commutation of a portion of the sentence to be made?” … In his presidential bid, Romney often proudly points out that he was the first governor in modern Massachusetts history to deny every request for a pardon or commutation during his four years in office. He says he refused pardons because he didn’t want to overturn a jury. During the four years Romney was in office, 100 requests for commutations and 172 requests for pardons were filed in the state. All were denied.
Romney is not only a hypocrite but also one who seems to think the outing of a CIA is AOK (“no crime had been committed”).