Friday, January 13, 2012

Barbour: Justice Really Important, If You Have Time for It!

Just minutes ago, former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour appeared on Fox News (Special Report with Bret Baier) to explain / justify his last-minute pardon bonanza. After insultingly suggesting he had been "misunderstood," Barbour said most people in the State of Mississippi were Christians and Christians believe in forgiveness. He added that America is a place where people get second chances. He also linked the pardon power to Mississippi's earliest Constitution, then the United States Constitution, and dared to compare his record on clemency to that of the conservative Republican gold standard - Ronald Reagan (who was President for eight years, but certainly did not grant 95 percent of his pardons on his last day in office - see chart below). Yes, it was a semi-impressive, inspiring, all-American, praise-allelujah, apple-pie, John Wayne, you-damn-tooting sales pitch for the power of executive clemency until  ...

Barbour said he couldn't really "look at" pardons for eight long years because he was busy with "Katrina and other things" (President Reagan, Barbour's "hero," evidently, was not nearly so busy). Good thing Barbour added "the other things" in there. Otherwise, eventually, someone would have asked, "Mr. Barbour, how many people did you pardon between January of 2004 (when you took office) and August of 2005 (Katrina)?" The answer is: ZERO. Almost 600 days of nothing! Zip. Notta.

Incidentally, the loafer Reagan granted more than 80 pardons in his first 600 days as President. But that is because it only took Reagan 65 days to start granting pardons. On the other hand, the tireless workhorse and endlessly distracted Mr. Barbour needed 1,649 days (four and a half years)!

Oh, the humanity!

Yes, and the one, single day, that Barbour was finally able to come up for air just happened to be his last day in office. Oddly enough, the God of most Mississippians (and of Christianity) appears not to be so busy, and is always ready to forgive (Psalms 86:5).

Busy Barbour v. Loafer / Ready to Forgive Reagan
Number of Pardons and Commutations Granted by Year of Term

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Reagan 1st Term
Reagan 2nd Term
Barbour 1st Term
Barbour 2nd Term

Stee-rike two on Haley Barbour's PR rehabilitation tour.

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