Friday, March 28, 2008

The President: Ho-ly Cow! Pardon Then ALL!

Pete McDonough is a professor at Rutgers University and served as director of communications for N.J. Gov. Christie Whitman (R). He also served as executive director in the N.J. State Assembly, chief of staff for a member of the U.S. House of Representative and media trainer for the U.S. State Department in Eastern Europe. Today McDonough says:

President Bush could surpass the totals [for] all [former] presidents by issuing a blanket pardon to all current and former professional baseball players who have been involved in illegal activities related to the use of steroids, human growth hormones or any of the other performance enhancing substances that have cast a pall on the great national pastime.
Hmmm. How long before anyone came up with that idea? McDonough describes the clemency process in New Jersey and notes chief executives will "sometimes" bypass formal processes "out of an overriding personal belief that a pardon or clemency is in the best interests of the state or nation." Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon is offered up an example. Then McDonough writes:

President Bush should take a cue from Gerry Ford and grant a full free and absolute pardon to every current and former professional baseball player whose crimes are related to the steroid scandal. Professional baseball, the national pastime, is operating under a cloud of scandal. The public spectacle of congressional hearings, the one-sided Mitchell Report, as well as prosecutorial media manipulation through grand jury leaks and other inappropriate disclosures, have broadly tainted the entire sport and provided players with little or no venue to respond and clear their names. So, maybe President George W. Bush could live up to his campaign promise of 2000 and become the "great unifier." Maybe the commander-in-chief ought to become the "commissioner-in-chief," and instead of throwing out the first pitch on opening day, give baseball a big fat do-over.
See complete editorial here.

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