Getting Away With It

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Libbylibcon

This is Charles Franklin's visual representation of SurveyUSA's instant poll of informed Americans' view of the commutation of Scooter Libby's jail term for perjury. Charles comments here. I note that fully one-third of self-described conservatives believe Libby should get the same jail time as perjurers not friends with the president. Jim Fallows gets it right, as usual:

Of course this is outrageous. ... The problem is: “of course.” We know that this is how the Administration behaves. We know it from the President’s declaration that Alberto Gonzales had performed magnificently in Congressional testimony the rest of the world saw as catastrophic. We know it from the infamous “three stooges” moment when the Presidential Medal of Freedom was conferred on Paul Bremer, George Tenet, and Tommy Franks. We know it from the failure to hold anyone above the foot-soldier level responsible for disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan. We know it in a thousand other ways.

And thanks to “of course,” people can be upset by this decision but not really shocked. (The main surprise, of course, is that Bush didn’t wait until his last days in office and then pardon Libby; on the other hand, Libby would have spent some time behind bars by then.) That is why I agree with only one part of David Brooks' column today about Libby: his assertion that outrage over the issue will soon simmer down. The outrageousness will remain.

I have no intention of simmering down. But I take Jim's point.

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