Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Watch List: Why George Ryan Will/Will Not Be Pardoned

With an eye toward weighing relevant factors and perhaps being a little amusing as well, here are the reasons, as I see them, that former Illinois Governor George Ryan will / or will not be pardoned by President Bush. Readers are invited to do the calculation on their own. And witty suggestions will certainly be welcomed (and added).

Why He Will Be Pardoned

* He is 74-years old
* He has health problems (Crohn's disease and diabetes)
* "The man has gone from being the governor of the state of Illinois to being a prisoner in the federal penitentiary. His career is gone. His reputation is gone. His pension for the moment is gone. . . . I think everybody's interests have been served" - James Thompson
* Ryan was quite generous with pardons himself
* A clemency petition will be supported by notables
* President Bush is also a Republican
* President Bush is a not-so-popular Republican who can relate to the plights of other not-so-popular Republicans
* There is an upward trend in the number of pardons and commutations across Bush's administration
* It is the fourth year of the President's term (when most presidents have granted their highest number of pardons)
* "Controversy" could be easily neutralized by pardoning some convicted Democratic governor as well (and there are plenty of them out there)
* Because any "controversy" that follows will largely be the narrow uphill effort of partisan critics trying to fulfill their own prophesies about the potential harm of "controversy" they will attempt to create
* Dan Rostenkowski, Mel Reynolds and Dorothy Rivers (yesterday's lettuce, no one cares, all of them were from Illinois and clemency on their behalf had zero impact)
* Chandra Gill and Sharon Latiker (current news, the here and the now)
* Linking corruption to the State of Illinois might not be the best PR in the world for one presidential candidate (details schmetails!)
* The Office of the Pardon Attorney has a huge backlog and could stand to do some application dumping
* Bush will not allow his clemency legacy to be summarized by mere reference to Scooter Libby
* Because George Ryan was identified on the Pardon Watch List way back in November of 2007 as a "could be" (see List here)

Why He Will Not Be Pardoned

* Charles Manson is also 74-years old
* Manson does not appear to be in the best of health either (just not the same since the failed Monkees audition)
* Because President Bush wants to preserve his spotless, criticism-free legacy in the White House
* It is an election year and Bush would not want to shock millions of Americans by alerting them, for the very first time, to the possibility that corruption might somehow be associated with politics in the State of Illinois
* Richard Leche, Warren McCray and Marvin Mandel are currently unable to roll over in their graves
* Because Bush is a Republican (they tend to pardon less)
* Because Bush is a former governor (they tend to pardon less)
* Because Bush followed Clinton's pardon disasters
* The Office of the Pardon Attorney has a huge backlog and getting around to a Ryan application might take years
* By January of 2009, Ryan will have only served 15 months of his 78-month sentence

1 comment:

MB said...

Reason he won't be pardoned: you can't drill George Ryan for oil.

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