no amnesty t-shirt

No amnesty

Except for Scooter

Isn't it amazing? Many of the same people who are braying "no amnesty" at the top of their lungs when it comes to immigration are braying "pardon Scooter" at the top of their lungs when it comes to a felon convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice.

When it comes to the immigrants, it is all about the "rule of law" and unforgiving condemnation for breaking it. Never mind that the proposal actually calls for paying a substantial fine (How quickly could you save up $5000 from your earnings harvesting broccoli?), go back to your country of origin to apply for your green card, and then get at the back of a line stretching years and years into the future. Any path to citizenship, no matter how punitive or arduous, constitutes "amnesty" to these self-appointed arbiters of morality and legality.


Then there's Scooter Libby, recently sentenced to 30 months in jail and a fine of $250,000 for lying repeatedly to the grand jury and investigators trying to get to the bottom of who outed Valerie Plame as a CIA covert agent in an attempt to get back at her husband Joe Wilson, who blew the whistle on the Bush administration's rationale for going to war in Iraq, Saddam Hussein's supposed stockpile of WMDs and the spectre of a mushroom cloud.

Libby is "a patriot, a dedicated public servant, a strong family man, and a tireless, honorable, selfless human being," wrote Donald Rumsfeld. His sentence was "grossly excessive" said Rudy Giuliani. You get the idea.

You'll hear no talk of how "no one is above the law" from the pardon pushers. Apparently only the judge — a George W Bush appointee, by the way — had the ethical clarity to say, "I think public officials need to know if they are going to step over the line, there are going to be consequences. . . . [What Libby did] causes people to think our government does not work for them."

Let's be clear: a presidential pardon is amnesty, pure and simple.

Yet, Tom Tancredo (R-CO), so vehemently anti-immigration that he wants to seal the borders and let nobody in, did not hesistate to tell Wolf Blitzer in the Republican "debate" that he would pardon Scooter.

Judge Reggie Walton

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, who sentenced Scooter, is one of those "strict constructionist" judges that the Bushies are always saying they want, ruling by what the law says, not at all "soft on crime." Ironically, what the pardon-pushers are asking for is that he be one of those "activist judges" who interprets the law in the most favorable light for dear old Scooter. It amuses me, and saddens me greatly, that so many politicians and pundits are so ethically bankrupt they don't see the irony.