Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The President: Stevens No Libby

Because the President's critics are eager to suggest that he just might pardon anyone (in order to enjoy the fumes of their own speculation), there are those who are lumping recently convicted Ted Stevens with Scooter Libby. Perhaps the president will grant another commutation of sentence, as he did for Libby, even before Stevens is sentenced! But this can't even pass the feint smell test, at least not with anyone familiar with Stevens and Libby and/or the manner in which they are perceived.

Consider what National Review wrote about Mr. Libby in March of 2007:
President Bush should pardon I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby. The trial that concluded in a guilty verdict on four of five counts conclusively proved only one thing: A White House aide became the target of a politicized prosecution set in motion by bureaucratic infighting and political cowardice ... Early in the investigation, deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage informed investigators that he had told Novak about Mrs. Wilson (although he left out the fact that he had also leaked to the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward). But like the savvy bureaucratic infighter that he is, Armitage kept quiet publicly, allowing the vice president’s office to take the heat for something he had done ... There should have been no referral, no special counsel, no indictments, and no trial. The "CIA-leak case” has been a travesty. A good man has paid a very heavy price for the Left’s fevers, the media’s scandal-mongering, and President Bush’s failure to unify his own administration. Justice demands that Bush issue a pardon and lower the curtain on an embarrassing drama that shouldn’t have lasted beyond its opening act.
Now consider what what National Review said about Senator Stevens back in July:
From a legal standpoint, Stevens deserves the benefit of the doubt — but not from an ethical standpoint ... [He] should have known better. His situation is complicated by his well-deserved reputation as one of the worst pork-barrel spenders in Congress. Stevens is notorious for his ability to secure earmarks for his home state ... It might be easier to count the public buildings in Alaska that aren’t named after him or his fellow porker, Alaska’s sole representative in the House, Don Young. That the two men are Republicans has been a source of consternation to fiscal conservatives in the party ... The question is not whether Stevens should resign, but whether he should resign now or after Alaska’s August 26 primary ... Stevens should allow the voters to pick his replacement. He should resign, and the sooner the better.

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