When It Says Libby, Libby, Libby on the Sentence, Sentence, Sentence:
There's a million ways we can sniff at the foul stench of the hypocritical fart that blasted out of the White House yesterday.

There's the What-if-Clinton...? gambit: While she was pardoned at the end of his presidency, you can bet that the same Republicans praising the Scooter Libby free pass would have been burning down the Capital if Bill Clinton had commuted Susan McDougal's prison sentence, which she served.

There's the Are-you-fuckin'-kiddin'-me? sentence injustice stratagem: While Scooter Libby gets to stay free no matter what happens in his appeal for lying to a grand jury, Genarlow Wilson can't get bail while appealing his conviction for having consensual oral sex with a girl two years younger than him. Or you could talk about most of the people in prison on drug possession charges.

There's the George-Bush-is-just-an-asshole obvious statement: Where you wanna go with this? Karla Faye Tucker? Any of the capital punishment cases that Bush took less than five minutes to decide were just? The prisoners who'll never stand trial at Gitmo? Lift any goddamn rock in the Rose Garden and you'll find examples where mercy is ignored and/or injustice stands in the considered legal opinion of George W. Bush.

But what's so goddamned annoying about the Scooter Libby commutation is that its so fucking, tiresomely predictable. Fun as it was to imagine Libby being sold for a pack of cigarettes and a couple of old, crusty Hustlers to a large-cocked guy who's serving time for murder after coming back from his third tour of duty in Iraq, there was never a chance that Cheney was going to allow Libby to be in a position to testify to the truth of the leak of Valerie Plame's identity. A pardon would have allowed him to speak, free and clear. Commutation is just about the sentence, not the crime or any connected crimes. The real dick move with the commutation is that it's a threat as well as a reward.

And the statement on the commutation was such a pussy move - not quite a pardon, not quite a punishment. Sure, Bush tried to make it sound like there was still some tough shit going on: "The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged. His wife and young children have also suffered immensely. He will remain on probation. The significant fines imposed by the judge will remain in effect. The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long-lasting." Yeah, and there won't be a cushy consulting job, the refuge of rogues and criminals, awaiting him. Man, the Rude Pundit wants to be punished with his work "forever damaged" by walking into a seven-figure job. It's like telling your kid that you're not gonna ground him, but, boy, you'll think twice next time he tells you he's just gonna take the car for a spin. Now, let's get ice cream while you think about what you did.

Also, a commutation allows Libby to keep appealing, which keeps the case alive, something a pardon wouldn't have done, which allows Bush and the rest of his merry band of fuckers to keep saying that they won't comment on an ongoing legal kerfuffle.

There's what we've learned: that George Bush doesn't believe in federal sentencing guidelines, that it's good to have friends with absolute power, that, as we have learned so many times from this administration, the rule of law does not matter. More chaos for our chaotic times.

Well, fuck, at least it took the British terror "plot" off the top of the news for a little while.

(By the way, if you've ever wanted to feel like beating down a man who wears glasses, check out David Brooks's column today. Yeah, it's behind the wall, but here's just a little taste: " The drama opened, as these dark comedies are wont to do, with a strutting little peacock who went by the unimaginative name of Joe Wilson." Oh, man, you just want to drop a bar of soap into a sock and head down to the Times, but we're not savages, right?)