hyperbolic hysterics over hypocrisy

It is a case of watch out for the spittle. It seems the Libby commutation really hit a nerve. IMAO takes off on this in BREAKING NEWS: Scooter Libby Has Gone a Perjury Spree.

It has been confirmed that Lewis “Scooter” Libby, freed from the threat of prison by President Bush, has broken probation and gone on a perjury spree, lying to prosecutors in multiple states and obstructing their investigations of high-profile non-crimes. … Democrats say this only confirms their worst fears. “We warned you!” said Senator Harry Reid in a statement to the press, “By getting that madman out of prison, President Bush has doomed this entire country. Dooomed! DOOOOOOMED!! He needs to get our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan and have them focus on capturing Scooter Libby.”

The reality seems to be that all anyone can offer is an allegation of hypocrisy. If Libby gets his sentence commuted, then why not all the other prisoners with perjury or obstruction of justice convictions? If the President has been adamant about harsh sentences and sentencing guidelines, why interfere in this one?

Hypocrisy is an interesting allegation. It is, by its nature, an ad hominem argument about the integrity of someone. Such arguments are an indication of weakness when the debate is about issues. What this debate is about, though, is the character of the President. It is not about Libby or sentencing guidelines or other such things but rather about the person elected to office. That ties back into the stimulus for the process that led to the Libby case. That, in turn, belies much of the argument being made about character as it becomes more evident that this is a matter of character assassination rather than character assessment.

What is also being aired is that the special prosecutor may have had a special bone to pick with the defendant in regards to previous law cases. The irony is that that case involved Marc Rich who was pardoned by President Clinton. There are many other questions about the investigation and prosecution that do have long term consequence.

One question is whether the Libby commutation of sentence is worth the hyperbolic hysterics. Will it set a precedent? Not likely. Will it have any long term consequence? Not likely. The legacy of the Libby case may end up as another example for those trying to spring death row inmates falsely convicted, if the politics could be removed.

What will have a long lasting and detrimental effect will be the increased risk imposed on high profile civil servants. This has been a discussion over the last few years in regards to the need to expose very personal things, such as tax returns and medical records, the reporting of campaign efforts, and the manner by which some who disagree escalate to verbal or even physical attacks.

One response to the Libby case was a refusal to testify to Congress in regards to the Attorney General scandal gardening. This is another case of no impropriety or crime but plenty of allegation and hot air being used to try to trap someone, anyone, that could support a political agenda. These kinds of things invite retaliation in turn. An example is the attacks on the prosecutor that are being seen now. That is a positive feedback that escalates partisanship and rancor.

Where this goes in the public can be seen by those who claim the Constitution has been shredded by the current administration, that fascism is running rampant, that torture has been legalized and become standard policy, that the Iraq war is based on a lie, and more. These claims, despite having no basis in reality, are the reality for some. The political combat has overcome all else.

One has to ask what kind of people we will have running for office or willing to serve in high profile positions when they know their livelihood and their reputation may be at stake. It seems you will either get people who don’t care, don’t know enough to care, or revel in the combat.

That is the long term consequence of worry. The goal is to ‘get’ the other guy. It is not to solve problems. ‘The country can go to hell as long as I can demolish those who don’t agree with me. ‘

Oh, my. What a crop of weeds we sow.

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