Shorter Lewis Libby

“Screw it. Maybe I am guilty after all, and if I push the issue Bush won’t be around to get me off the hook again.”






61 replies
  1. 1
    Punchy says:

    Mr. Libby and several years of defending against this case, the burden on Mr. Libby and his young family

    The guy cant be any younger than mid-50’s, right? Young family? How is this possible? Is this just lawyer-speak to make him sound more gentle? Gentile?

  2. 2

    Punchy, when I reach fifty, I’ll still have a sixteen-year-old son and a ten-year-old son at home. I’d consider both of them “young”, wouldn’t you?

  3. 3
    Zifnab says:

    He’ll get a pardon at the end of Bush’s term, and that’ll be that.

    So, here’s a quick thought on Presidential Pardons. A number of executive checks and balances – the Presidential Veto, the SCOTUS nomination and cabinet nominations – need to go through a Congressional vote before they go into effect. Why not Pardons? Make overturning a pardon like overturning a veto. When the President passes a pardon, you need 2/3 of the House and Senate to object in order to cancel it. At least then the pardon goes on everyone’s record, rather than falling on the legacy of a lame duck. Then, when Congresscritters go back to their constituencies, somebody is held to account.

  4. 4
    John Cole says:

    So, here’s a quick thought on Presidential Pardons. A number of executive checks and balances – the Presidential Veto, the SCOTUS nomination and cabinet nominations – need to go through a Congressional vote before they go into effect. Why not Pardons? Make overturning a pardon like overturning a veto. When the President passes a pardon, you need 2/3 of the House and Senate to object in order to cancel it. At least then the pardon goes on everyone’s record, rather than falling on the legacy of a lame duck. Then, when Congresscritters go back to their constituencies, somebody is held to account.

    No. Quit fucking with shit that has worked quite well (or at least has been servicable) for several hundred years, and work harder to elect people you trust with the pardon.

  5. 5
    scarshapedstar says:

    Yeah, anyone who can muster up $250,000 in a single day is clearly burdened.

  6. 6
    ThymeZone says:

    Gentile?

    Um I think you meant genteel.

    Or, maybe you didn’t :)

  7. 7
    scarshapedstar says:

    work harder to elect people you trust with the pardon.

    Hate to beat a dead horse here, but you had Mr. Goody Two Shoes and you trusted a dry drunk cokehead (alcohol and cocaine, of course, combine to form a substance that pretty invariably causes brain damage) with sociopathic and sadistic tendencies.

    Sometimes people really just want an asshole who will pardon his fellow assholes just to piss off the people who mean well. And while they have a right to that as Murikans, well, it shouldn’t be enshrined.

  8. 8
    Jake says:

    Brave, brave, brave Sir Libby…

  9. 9
    zmulls says:

    My proposal for the pardon power is to allow a President to pardon any action that takes place outside of his term in office, or any term s/he served as Vice President.

    In other words, you can pardon anything prior to your own administration (counting the time you were VP). So you can clear past injustices (in your opinion) but you can’t cover up for your own friends.

    Now, maybe GWB would have pardoned Cap Weinberger and company, but we would have gotten a lot more of the Iran/Contra story out by then…

  10. 10
    TheFountainHead says:

    I actually think this might be an interesting personal test for Mr. Bush. Will his seemingly dire need to leave a good legacy behind prevent him from committing the most obvious act of cronyism to date? I think he’ll pardon ‘ol Scooter, cause there has to be at least a small part of him that knows the legacy is lost anyway.

  11. 11
    numbskull says:

    As pointed out elsewhere, the WH has just lost another excuse for explaining its role in the Plame affair. They can no longer claim that since Libby’s case is under appeal, they can’t talk about it.

    Let’s start a pool on what the next excuse will be for why Bush can’t tell us the reason he didn’t fire Rove and others involved like he said he would.

  12. 12
    Rick Taylor says:

    Wonderful. With this out of the way, the administration no reason for not commenting on the outing of Valerie Plame, as they’ve been so anxious to do so all these years. I can’t wait.

  13. 13
    Jake says:

    I think he’ll pardon ‘ol Scooter, cause there has to be at least a small part of him that knows the legacy is lost anyway ^could give a flaming half-gainer into Hell what the proles think. Heh.

    Fixed.

    Let’s start a pool on what the next excuse will be for why Bush can’t tell us the reason he didn’t fire Rove and others involved like he said he would.

    I’ll put $10 on “National security,” and $5 on “Jesus wants us to forgive and forget.”

  14. 14
    numbskull says:

    I see that Perino dodged the question today by saying that she hadn’t spoken to the Prez about this, [because, you know, who could have anticipated that THIS line of questioning would come up?]

    I’m in for $10 that the excuse will be fundamentally be “Well, that was a long time ago and it’s not clear that all the information is still available, and many of the key personnel have moved on, you know, like the Cuban missile crisis.”

  15. 15
    Tony J says:

    Let’s start a pool on what the next excuse will be for why Bush can’t tell us the reason he didn’t fire Rove and others involved like he said he would.

    Ah, y’know, we’d really like to be free to comment on this matter but, uh, the opinion of the OGC is that all statements made by and for the Office of the President are covered under Executive Privilege. So, sorry, but that’s the law. Next question.

  16. 16
    Darkness says:

    The guy cant be any younger than mid-50’s, right? Young family? How is this possible? Is this just lawyer-speak to make him sound more gentle? Gentile?

    He’s a republican, and just a glance at the republican prez candidates, I’m guessing she’s his third wife and hence sixteen. But that’d just be a guess. Or just looks sixteen. Hey, maybe there’s a rule with republican bigwigs that the third wife has to be younger than any daughters from the first marriage…

    This Family Values thing always has me so confused.

  17. 17
    Zifnab says:

    No. Quit fucking with shit that has worked quite well (or at least has been servicable) for several hundred years, and work harder to elect people you trust with the pardon.

    Who? Which people? Name one. Ford pardoned Nixon. Clinton pardoned Marc Rich. Bush 41 pardoned six guys in Iran-Contra. Those are the ones that leap to mind.

    John, don’t get me wrong, the Constitution is great. But right out the front door they had to amend thing thing 10 times. Since then we’ve amended the thing another 16 – I like to think that Presidential Term Limits, Income Taxes, and Woman’s/Minority’s right to vote were valuable additions – we’ve fixed a number of flaws in the original text.

    The presidential pardon is another gapping flaw that needs to be shored up. There is absolutely zero oversight to the power and no way for the other two branches of government to counteract without using a strongly worded censor or a flat Impeachment.

    In my lifetime, I have never seen a President NOT abuse the power of Presidential Pardon. At a certain point you need to put your foot down and start instituting some change. One branch’s power is typically checked by one or two other branches. How is my suggestion so deviant from the original founder’s intention that I’m “fucking with shit”?

  18. 18
    numbskull says:

    At the risk of ruining Zinfab’s argument (by me being me), I agree. Pardons are a power unchecked and with the exception of JFK, who died before you had the chance, have been abused by every president in my lifetime.

    Actually, now that I think about it, did Carter?

    Anyway, why should any of the 3 branches have one special power that is beyond oversight of the other 2?

  19. 19
    zmulls says:

    The pardon power was controversial when it was drafted. Several of the founding fathers felt that it was open to abuse.

    I’m for not monkeying with the Constitution willy-nilly but it seems that there are strong arguments for restricting a rogue President from letting his buddies off the hook for allegedly criminal activity.

  20. 20
    LarryB says:

    TheFountainHead Says:

    I actually think this might be an interesting personal test for Mr. Bush. Will his seemingly dire need to leave a good legacy behind prevent him from committing the most obvious act of cronyism to date?

    Eh, no. Libby knows too much. Bush will never, ever leave him open to a prosecutor squeeze play.

  21. 21
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    I doubt that the founding fathers would have believed that America would possibly elect anyone with George W. Bush’s disrespect for the Constitution and the rule of law. I further doubt that they could have envisioned an administration so dedicated to undoing the system of checks and balances that they so carefully wrought.

    The justification for giving any President the unassailable power to pardon anyone for any crime is dubious at best. In the hands of the Republicans it becomes an assault on justice itself.

  22. 22

    Jeez, I saw the NRO headline on Memeo and I thought for a second that KLo was about say something nice about me.

  23. 23
    John S. says:

    The guy cant be any younger than mid-50’s, right? Young family? How is this possible?

    Um, it isn’t that hard to fathom.

    My father is 72 and I’m only 30. Do the math. Granted, my father is much older then anyone else’s father I know that is my age, but it is possible. Granted, my mother was my father’s second wife and I have four half-siblings who are 10-18 years older then me, but there you have it. Incidentally, my father’s third wife is actually younger than my eldest half-sister, but thankfully she hasn’t had any children with him.

  24. 24
    dr. luba says:

    As I recall, 41 pardoned at least one terrorist (but he killed Cubans, so that was OK) and a major drug dealer.

    (And 40, of course, funded the Contras, who were terrorists, at least according to my Nicaraguan friends, and played footsies with Saddam, our old BFF.)

    Worse than a rogue financier any day.

  25. 25
    Zifnab says:

    Worse than a rogue financier any day.

    Hey, I’m not here to argue which pardons are worse. I’m just saying that abuse is abuse. If Clinton had pardoned city dog catcher it wouldn’t have been any better, assuming the guy was a political ally getting favorite treatment.

  26. 26
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Washington pardoned the leaders of the Whiskey Rebellion. Andrew Johnson granted unconditional amnesty to Confederate soldiers as well as pardoning three individuals who’d been accused of conspiracy in the Lincoln assassination.

    The pardon seems to have gone downhill from there and in the past few administrations has largely been used to extricate cronies from the justice system.

  27. 27
    Ed Drone says:

    ” TheFountainHead Says:

    I actually think this might be an interesting personal test for Mr. Bush. Will his seemingly dire need to leave a good legacy behind prevent him from committing the most obvious act of cronyism to date?

    Eh, no. Libby knows too much. Bush will never, ever leave him open to a prosecutor squeeze play.”

    Well, the power of the pardon cannot be used in certain cases — “he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment,” so if the proper bills of impeachment were to be dropped into the hopper, even if they went no further, then no one he could pardon would actually be pardonable, one could argue. The Constitution is mute, I think, on whose impeachment this prohibition would refer to, so someone who is a witness to “high crimes and misdemeanors” could be subject to this rule, I would think.

    It’s at least as good an argument as the “unitary executive” bull-bleep the madministration passes around.

    Ed

  28. 28
    Anonymous says:

    As far as allowing other branches oversight of the pardon, I think the best argument against it is the old standard of Franklin:

    “better [one hundred] guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer.”

    If one person convicted on a three-strikes drug possession offense might be set free by a president, I say let them all set loose their cronies and be blamed for it later. As long as a presidential power serves at least to potentially reduce the damage law enforcement does to its citizens, the more expansive it should be.

    On the other hand, a reduction in the president’s term length to two years (or maybe even one) wouldn’t be out of order. Let them all try to scramble to do the kind of damage they want while still remaining electable.

  29. 29
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    John: The unlimited Presidential right to pardon has NOT worked well — as a lot of people feared it wouldn’t when it was first proposed for the Constitution. George Mason, for instance, pointed out that the President could easily pardon crooked aides and thus impede investigations into his own crooked actions — to which James Madison replied that in that case, since there would surely be no political parties in the American democracy, a 2/3 majority of Senators could be confidently relied on to instantly impeach and remove him for such suspicious activities.

    Anyone who wants to worship the Constitution as a golden calf had better keep in mind that the Founders DID make one gigantic blunder when writing it: their assumption that political parties should, and would, be kept from ever coming into existence AT ALL in the US. That mistake nearly destroyed the US twice during its first 15 years, requring two emergency software patches to our governmental system — the 12th Amendment and “Marbury vs. Madison”. Since then, we’ve avoided further disasters (to some extent) simply because both political parties up to now have tended to embrace informal, NON-LEGAL restraints on what they’re willing to do — but the Bush Administration is already infamous for pushing past those long-time informal barriers against one-party semi-dictatorship (Presidential signing statements; the declaration that a President is a pseudo-dictator in wartime; the sealing off of the Presidency from any efffective monitoring by Congress, with the connivance of his own party; the use by Republicans of the filibuster at 3 times the rate it’s ever been used before in US history, etc.) Regardless of what made them decide to switch to this strategy in the late 1990s — my suspicions center around Gingrich, who is after all a political scientist and thus knows all the loopholes and potential weak spots in the Constitution very well — it’s now a fait accompli, and it will never be reversed again for long, despite your wishful thinking on this subject. (And it could very easily have happened earlier: consider how Watergate would have turned out if the GOP had had a majority in Congress at the time…)

    So: we DO indeed very badly need not just one, but several new amendments to resume patching that huge hole in the Constitution. Besides limiting the Presidential right to pardon (I’d say with a 3/5 Congressional override, not 2/3), we need to get rid of the filibuster — permanently — and we need to require a supermajority to confirm, and periodically re-confirm, the Attorney General, who should also have veto power over all the president’s other DoJ appointees. If we DON’T do this, we will now be leaving the gates of Hell wide open.

  30. 30
    David Hunt says:

    I doubt that the founding fathers would have believed that America would possibly elect anyone with George W. Bush’s disrespect for the Constitution and the rule of law. I further doubt that they could have envisioned an administration so dedicated to undoing the system of checks and balances that they so carefully wrought.

    I’m going to disagree with that on a technicality. I think that they did foresee that and put the system of checks and balances into place so that the other branches of governement would stop such people. What the founders didn’t foresee was that Congress and the Judiciary would let such an above-described S.O.B. get away with arrogating so much of their own powers unto himself. It’s my understanding that the idea was that all the branches of government would jealously guard their own powers and, thus, keep the others from getting two powerful. Or to (mis?)quote John Rogers, “If you’re happy with all three branches of the U.S. Govt at the same time, you have misunderstood what America is all about.”

  31. 31
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Yup, David — and the Founders based that entire tripartite balancing system (and thus MOST of their protections against tyranny) on their seriously idiotic assumption that political parties would never come into existence. (Their writings at the time are full of predictions of the terrible consequences if parties DID ever come into existence.)

    Actually, their system was really just bipartite — the Supreme Court was created at all only as a last-minute afterthought at the Convention, and had very few powers until “Marbury vs. Madison”. Until Marbury, the Founders’ assumption was that — you guessed it — that Nonpartisan Congress should itself be the final legal authority on the meaning of all clauses in the Constitution. For the same idiotic reason, the Confederacy didn’t have a Supreme Court at all.

    By the way, the next stage in the Redemption of Scooter is now underway: Dana Perino announced this morning that the White House is reneging on its promise to tell what the President knew about the Plame leak now that there’s no danger of such statements Prejudicing Scooter’s Legal Case. They figure that — since the public’s interest in Iraq has waned, thanks to the pseudo-success of the Surge — they can now get away with sweeping the Plame affair back under the rug, and with pardoning him flat-out before Dubya leves office. After all, Daddy got away with it on a mass basis…

  32. 32
    Chris says:

    I think I’m going to have to side with the gracious host here.

    I think the concept of the absolute pardon is that there might be crucial executors (think Powell, or Petraeus) who could be necessary to stability but not popular. In fact, that’s the downside of a singular elected executive: to do the job, you have to weather wild swings of popularity.

    So, if a ranking general or secretary were running a war (a SERIOUS war, like Maine is under attack, none of this pussy nation building), and part of the country railroads that person into jail/treason/exile/serious-shit for political reasons, the executive needs to be able to say “no no no, for real, we need him or we lose this war”.

    If you think I’m defending Libby as necessary, you’re mistaken. Maybe there should be a community requirement for pardonees. How about Scoot now has to spend 20 years defending suspects in Detroit pro-bono?

    Besides, Cole is right. We gotta try harder to elect honest people into the Exec. rather than just phoning it into CNN. We know lies when they’re thrown at us. We start from there.

  33. 33
    Zifnab says:

    “better [one hundred] guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer.”

    If one person convicted on a three-strikes drug possession offense might be set free by a president, I say let them all set loose their cronies and be blamed for it later. As long as a presidential power serves at least to potentially reduce the damage law enforcement does to its citizens, the more expansive it should be.

    Ok, that’s taken totally out of context. Franklin was referring to the judicial system and due process, in which courts run on the standard of “innocent until proven guilty” and run on reasonable doubt.

    The system Franklin envisioned demanded vigorous prosecution and vigorous defense, but once all the proper forms are met, he wasn’t suggesting that criminals then be released on an executive’s whim or due to political patronage.

    We can argue about lengthening or shortening a President’s term in office, but that won’t affect his freedom to pardon. After he leaves, a President is basically done with politics. He has no need for political capital and no use for approval ratings or public blame.

    By tying pardon power back to Congress, even with something as weak as a bi-lateral supermajority, you put every Congressional officeholder on record as supporting or rejecting a President’s decisions and reinstate the coveted accountability.

  34. 34
    binzinerator says:

    allegedly criminal activity

    There’s nothing “allegedly” about Libby’s criminal activity. He was tried, convicted and sentenced.

    And isn’t a pardon specifically for criminals (those who were convicted of criminal activity)? Could be wrong about that, but why pardon someone someone who has been accused but not convicted of anything — it would seem there is no need to pardon the assumed innocent until they’re proven otherwise.

  35. 35
    gypsy howell says:

    Other Shorter Libby:

    “Fuck it man, I’m already off the hook. Why spend more money (even OPM) on lawyers?”

  36. 36
    Psycheout says:

    President Bush darn well better pardon Lewis Libby. He is an American hero who went out on a limb to expose Joe “the liar” Wilson. He took one for the team.

    He should get a medal.

  37. 37
    Psycheout says:

    Let’s start a pool on what the next excuse will be for why Bush can’t tell us the reason he didn’t fire Rove and others involved like he said he would.

    It’s old news. Nobody cares outside of the moonbat brigade.

    Let’s just move.on.dot.com.

  38. 38
    David Hunt says:

    And isn’t a pardon specifically for criminals (those who were convicted of criminal activity)? Could be wrong about that, but why pardon someone someone who has been accused but not convicted of anything—it would seem there is no need to pardon the assumed innocent until they’re proven otherwise.

    Given the huge cost of mounting a good legal defense these days, I can actually see my way to clear to be okay with pardoning someone before a conviction — in principle. If the President was convinced the guy was innocent, why not spare him the massive monetary and time expenidures of a trial?

    I freely admit that this scenario could easily turn into pardoning your criminal cronies before they can even be tried to keep them from testifying against you. That’s the type of thing that I expect the Founders figured would get the President impeached. Of course, GWB has flagrantly committed enough impeachable offenses that I’m sure that flagrant pardoning of criminal cronies would skate right on by.

  39. 39
    Chris says:

    Psycheout:

    Nothing more heroic than having whispered conversations with a couple reporters — in code word — and then when you get caught, insisting loudly that it wasn’t you instead of owning up to it?

    If he were proud he’d have owned up to it, we’d know what we need to know, and people would be happier.

    But I’m sure you’d kill yourself before letting one of them get a win.

  40. 40
    Psycheout says:

    Letting the cowardly congress stick its nose into the pardon process is asking for trouble. Pardons don’t have to be popular to be correct. Politicizing the process further would be a big mistake.

    Just make sure you elect a president with ethics more like President Bush than President Clinton.

    It’s up to the American people to elect a man worthy of the power to pardon. If they do not, it is their fault, not the Constitution’s.

  41. 41
    Chad N. Freude says:

    Libby … is an American hero who went out on a limb to expose Joe “the liar” Wilson. He took one for the team.

    One count of obstruction, two counts of perjury, and one count of lying to the FBI.

    I guess you could call that going out on a limb, but why would the team need that particular one (four?) taken?

  42. 42
    Chad N. Freude says:

    It’s old news. Nobody cares outside of the moonbat brigade.

    Translation: If the President says that somet action is unacceptable and will have repercussions for those involved and then does nothing, ever, it’s OK because time has passed and only crazy people care about lying and hypocrisy.

  43. 43
    Xenos says:

    Just because Bush has the power to pardon, it is still obstruction of justice if he does it to impede in an investigation.

    It was a huge mistake on the part of Clinton et al. to not prosecute G.H.W. Bush for his pardons. All the sins of moderation by Democrats in the last 30 years have been paid back with interest.

  44. 44
    Chad N. Freude says:

    Just make sure you elect a president with ethics more like President Bush than President Clinton.

    My God! If I weren’t so articulate I’d be speechless.

    One more President with ethics like President Bush and there won’t be a country left to preside over.

  45. 45
    Psycheout says:

    My God! If I weren’t so articulate I’d be speechless.

    You’re not and you should be. Hope that helps.

  46. 46
    Chad N. Freude says:

    You’re not

    Psyche’s accuracy-in-posting rate remains unchanged.

    and you should be.

    Translation: I disagree with what you say, so shut up.

    Hope that helps

    Actually, I don’t believe you do.

  47. 47
    HyperIon says:

    Mr. Cole: please do not continue to use the “Sadly, No” shorter tagline. They beat on it enough.

  48. 48
    Make7 says:

    Are pardons an executive branch check on the judicial branch?

  49. 49
    The Other Steve says:

    No. Quit fucking with shit that has worked quite well (or at least has been servicable) for several hundred years, and work harder to elect people you trust with the pardon.

    In all honesty, I think as Americans we need to recognize there are more liars and thieves in this world than people you can trust with a pardon.

    I believe this was the intent of the founding fathers with their checks and balances.

    That being said, unless the President pardons a murderer or rapist(*), how much harm can they really do?

    (*) All the more reason not to vote for Huckabee.

  50. 50
    Psycheout says:

    In all honesty, I think as Americans we need to recognize there are more liars and thieves in this world than people you can trust with a pardon.

    There’s only one, you stupid moron. Unless you’re worried about Governor pardons. Elect people you trust, and when they don’t win, STFU.

    What a jackass.

  51. 51
    The Other Steve says:

    Actually, now that I think about it, did Carter?

    Depends on how you feel about Vietnam Draft Dodgers.

  52. 52
    The Other Steve says:

    There’s only one, you stupid moron. Unless you’re worried about Governor pardons. Elect people you trust, and when they don’t win, STFU.

    Big words from a home schooled kid who had to repeat 4th grade three times.

  53. 53
  54. 54
    Anonymous says:

    Zifnab:

    We can argue about lengthening or shortening a President’s term in office, but that won’t affect his freedom to pardon. After he leaves, a President is basically done with politics. He has no need for political capital and no use for approval ratings or public blame.

    It is a separate issue, I’ll grant you, though it would give a President less time to do damage and less time for one to get his or her cronies into causing messes for which they would later be pardoned.

    By tying pardon power back to Congress, even with something as weak as a bi-lateral supermajority, you put every Congressional officeholder on record as supporting or rejecting a President’s decisions and reinstate the coveted accountability.

    I think you also make it impossible for anyone who should be pardoned due to unjust laws or unjust applications of said laws to ever receive a pardon. The intent of the pardon is to curb the overzealous prosecution of the citizenry. Of course I wouldn’t mind seeing Scooter Libby and Marc Rich and whatever other corrupt crony sent away to stay, but if the price is the loss of one possible outlet through which those unjustly imprisoned might be released, I can’t support the restriction of that power.

    If you really think the executive’s pardons of their own are so dangerous, make some sort pardon system between the branches only for those actually employed by one of the branches of government with whatever supermajority seems worthwhile. In this, or any other alteration of the pardon system, I expect you’ll see the pardoning of cronies still out in full force. Those in government have always had plenty of reasons to support one another, both across branches and across party line – they all feed from the same trough, as it were.

    Make7:

    Are pardons an executive branch check on the judicial branch?

    Yes they are.

  55. 55

    There is a countervailing power to the power of the pardon: the broad power of impeachment and trial. The Congress has a special and unlimited power to impeach ANY government officer whether still in office or not. That power was intended to allow Congress to act against the Elliot Abrams of the world, by barring them from any office of trust or honor under the United States.

    That is, it keeps the malefactors from coming back from Iran-Contra to the Defense Department for Iraq v. 2. It’s not subject to pardon, and I’m hoping that the Congress will use that power this time.

  56. 56
    Anne Laurie says:

    Let’s start a pool on what the next excuse will be for why Bush can’t tell us the reason he didn’t fire Rove and others involved like he said he would.

    I’ll put $10 on “National security,” and $5 on “Jesus wants us to forgive and forget.”

    I’ve got $20 on “Clinton did it worse!”

  57. 57
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Demimondian: I’ve stated above why the Framers’ plan to have the power of impeachment serve as a major block to illegal or dictatorial behavior by the President went completely awry. As James Madison said at the time, the requirement for a 2/3 margin to remove the President was based entirely on their fond (and loony) assumption that political parties would NEVER come into existence in the US, and that therefore it would be tremendously easier to get that 2/3 vote in the Senate than it has actually turned out to be. We need to replace it with the power to hold a national recall election if a very large number of people are willing to sign a petition to that effect, although I’d support requiring a 60% vote for the President to actually be recalled in mid-term.

  58. 58
    Psycheout says:

    Of course I wouldn’t mind seeing…Marc Rich and whatever other corrupt crony sent away to stay….

    Amen!

  59. 59
    Zifnab says:

    I think you also make it impossible for anyone who should be pardoned due to unjust laws or unjust applications of said laws to ever receive a pardon. The intent of the pardon is to curb the overzealous prosecution of the citizenry. Of course I wouldn’t mind seeing Scooter Libby and Marc Rich and whatever other corrupt crony sent away to stay, but if the price is the loss of one possible outlet through which those unjustly imprisoned might be released, I can’t support the restriction of that power.

    You make it more difficult, certainly. And you make pardons a cause du jour rather than a back-alley get out of free card. A President can point out citizen A, a guy who committed some crime and was prosecuted too harshly or unfairly and whom the justice system abandoned, pardon him, and turn to Congress saying “This is an exception to the rule, a person who was entangled in the legal process unfairly”. Congress can then decide whether citizen A falls under the intent of its legislation. Hopefully, this pardon – or lack their of – will lead to more sensible legislation in the future. If, for instance, the President were to pardon Tiny Tim who was busted for dealing crack at the age of 12 and charged as an adult, and the Congress were to uphold the pardon, this could lead to more sensible rules on drug enforcement and child sentencing.

    With a bicameral super majority necessary, the President need only corral 33 Senators or 150(?) Congressmen to his cause. If he can’t get that many supporters for a pardon, the person probably doesn’t deserve it – at least in the opinion of the general public.

    Under this system, I suspect Libby would still get to walk. But in the process, every Republican Libby diehard who supported letting a CIA leaker walk would have that stain on his record. In ’08, the citizenry could decide whether they want to elect representatives that allow that shit to slide. As it stands now, no one is going to take heat for failing to impeach the President over pardoning Libby. They might take heat for failing to impeach him on a range of other issues, but the Libby Pardon will be way back in the back burner.

  60. 60
    binzinerator says:

    Elect people you trust, and when they don’t win, STFU

    And from 1992 to 2000, the people you trusted to be president didn’t win — one William Jefferson Clinton did.

    If you did as you demand others do, you and the rest of wingnuttia would never mention Clinton.

    STFU, jackass.

  61. 61
    oregon.guy says:

    Just thought of this – just require that pardons be countersigned by the VP. Since most VP’s have further political ambitions of their own, most will not want to sign massively controversial pardons.

    Or, simply, disallow a President to pardon for offenses committed during his term of office. (Commutation would still be available for death penalty cases).

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