Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Obama 2012: Too Busy For Pardons

It was President Obama who once rebuked a political opponent for not tackling multiple enormous tasks simultaneously. As he sarcastically put it, "You can do more than one thing at a time."

Yet, the Obama administration has been an abysmal failure when it comes to pardons and commutations of sentence - not only in the month of December, but all the way across the four-year board. But the president has been busy with the "fiscal cliff" you say. To which we note, other presidents have found time for checks and balances and mercy with important things on their plates. And they didn't even have "assistance" from bureaucrats in the Department of Justice or bureaucrats in a specialized Office of the Pardon Attorney (with a budget of more than $3 million a year)!

James Buchanan granted 25 presidential pardons from the time South Carolina seceded from the Union and the Confederate States of America were formed (February 1861).

Abraham Lincoln took the time to grant 5 pardons in July of 1861, following the disastrous showing of Federal troops in the Battle of the First Bull Run. In early 1862, he granted 7 pardons while his 11-year old son, Willie, suffered (and eventually died) from typhoid fever. Lincoln also granted 3 pardons during the week of the Battle of Gettysburg.

William McKinley granted 7 pardons the same month the United States declared war with Spain.

In May, June and July of 1894, while Grover Cleveland was dealing with the Pullman Strike, 32 pardons were granted.

Woodrow Wilson granted 4 pardons on the day the United States declared war on Germany and 7 more the following week. He also granted 9 pardons the week that the Armistice ended World War I.From July 31 to September 12, 1919, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee considered entrance into the League of Nations (Wilson's own creation) and the President testified. But he also found time, during this period, to grant 36 pardons. As the League languished in the Senate, from September 16 to March 3, 1920, Wilson granted 315 pardons. He also granted 19 pardons in October of 1919, just after suffering a massive debilitating stroke.

Herbert Hoover granted 6 pardons the week following the great stock market crash of 1929.

Franklin Roosevelt granted 11 pardons in the week following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. President Roosevelt also granted 38 pardons in the three days following the Normandy Invasion (D-Day).

Harry Truman granted 19 pardons during the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 1945). In June of 1950, as the Korean War escalated to the point of involvement by China, Truman found time to grant 24 pardons. He also pardoned 7 people the week after the critical decision to ask Douglas MacArthur to relinquish his command (April 1951). Truman even found time to granted 47 pardons, from April 8 to June 2, 1952, which was the period of time he had seized the steel mills of Youngstown, Ohio, in order to avoid a general strike - a Supreme Court decision eventually convinced Truman to withdraw from the situation.

As for President Obama, who has granted a mere 22 pardons and 1 commutation of sentence, all on just 3 days in his four years as president?

He is just too busy, has more important stuff on his plate!

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