Independents and the Libby Commutation

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The most striking result of the ARG poll about the Libby commutation was not just the large number of Republicans ticked off by the president's abuse of his pardon power. It's the intensity of the Independent opposition. On reflection, I don't think it's that surprising. Independents tend not to think of themselves as protected by group loyalty or a partisan establishment, so they tend to be very skeptical of one side's capacity to rig the justice system for its own members. Independents get mad at many aspects of the partisan game - from pork to deficits. And the most striking data to come from the polls these days is how many Independents are leaning toward the Democrats. Look at how it might tip even Virginia.  I think it's less a function of some ideological shift as a shrewd attempt to use one side to police the excesses of the other. If you care about abuse of power, you'll be anti-GOP right now. That may change. But not for a while.