As governor of Texas, George W. Bush suffered from writer's cramp while signing so many death warrants of convicted felons. He knows something about "excessive sentences." As president, Bush said he respected the verdict of the jury in Scooter Libby's trial and then he commuted his prison term with his pen.
Once again the Bush White House has shown its indifference to the law. Along with Dick Cheney, he has taken a giant step to appease right wing zealots. The decider has decided, but wrong again as he has been on most issues.
Voters who think about it will remember this and other winks at justice when they vote in November 2008. Bush won't be on the ballot, but GOP syncophants will be there. Some on the right are even upset with Bush's failure to pardon Libby outright. That just adds to the furor over this sad episode.
Does anyone really think Libby will eventually cough up $250,000 of his own money to pay his fine? As I understand it, rich pals can donate money if they are willing to pay taxes on amounts over $10,000. That is chump change to some deep pocket true believers.
Former Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming, who should know better, had the most ridiculous statement. He said Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald cast a net the size of Manhattan and came up with a minnow. He thinks the Vice President's chief of staff is so lacking in stature that he's a minnow. Wonder how Libby feels about being so unimportant.
Libby deserved a prison term. He lied repeatedly to the FBI and the prosecutor. But a lame duck and highly unpopular president, supposedly a law and order man, secured his silence yesterday.