Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bush Commutes Libby's Jail Sentence

From the Nation, David Corn, the guy who first figured out that the CIA leak case could be very bad news for Bush, weighs in on today's latest travesty:

Libby had become a symbol of the Bush White House's problem with the truth. After all, his lies had been designed to block FBI agents and federal prosecutors from learning the full truth of a White House effort to discredit a critic who had accused the Bush administration of twisting the prewar intelligence. And now the final act in the long-running CIA leak scandal--Bush's commutation--stands as another symbol of this grand theme: lying doesn't really bother this crowd. In the 2000 presidential campaign, Bush claimed he would bring responsibility to the White House and, as a PR stunt, he dubbed his campaign jet Accountability One. Yet with this commutation, he takes the position that in his administration an aide who purposefully misleads government officials investigating a possible national security crime need not be held fully accountable.

This is no shocker. Early on in the CIA leak affair, the White House announced that anyone involved in the 2003 leak that disclosed the CIA employment of Valerie Wilson, an undercover Agency officer, would be booted out of the administration. But Karl Rove, who had disclosed classified information about Valerie Wilson to two reporters and who apparently lied about his actions to White House press secretary Scott McClellan, was not pink-slipped. Bush has never acknowledged this broken promise. (Libby left the White House only after he was indicted in the fall of 2005.)

Click here for the rest.

I was listening to Air America Radio earlier this evening and this conservative guy had called in and wanted to know why liberals hate Bush. The show's host responded by insisting that he doesn't hate Bush; he hates Bush's administration and policies. Why the hell do liberals keep dodging this? I'll be straight up: I hate Bush, and I have very good reasons for doing so.

You have to look at recent history to get some context for this. Inspired by his 1980 victory over Carter, Reagan era conservatives greatly stepped up their ongoing rhetorical efforts to discredit liberalism. By the time Mike Dukakis faced the first President Bush in the 1988 election, the New England leftie, freaking out, ran away from HW's repeated accusations that he was a liberal. At that point, the conventional wisdom had become that America didn't like liberals anymore. Four years later, Bill Clinton defeated HW in a weird three-way fluke race, and the right wing, which had perfected in the 80s the art of vilifying liberals, went into mad scientist mode. In the 90s, from the conservative point of view, liberalism was no longer simply stupid: it became tantamount to treason. The bastards even impeached Clinton on trumped up charges, and old Bill doesn't even really qualify as a liberal!

Then 9/11 happened a scant ten months after the current President Bush literally stole the Oval Office. Anti-liberal rhetoric soared off the charts, and dragged mainstream political discourse with it. In the new millennium, conservatives successfully managed to portray themselves as everything good, everything American. Liberals were portrayed as the worst anti-American scum in history.

This was only a few years ago.

Meanwhile, it was completely clear to anybody who wasn't caught up in 9/11 hysteria, a relatively small percentage of the population for a while there, that Bush was lying about virtually everything, and cravenly capitalizing on the terrorist threat in order to cut the country up into pieces and hand it all away to wealthy cronies, roll back civil rights to the dark ages, and drag the nation into an illegal and ill-advised war of aggression, which is the supreme crime according to the judges at Nuremberg. Obviously, conservatives aren't everything good and everything American, and liberals have known it for a long time. Bush is their boy.

People wonder why the left hates him. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Hate is the only reasonable reaction after all this shit.

Commuting Libby's sentence is simply one of the more flagrant examples of how the right wing presents itself as righteous and patriotic, but is in reality anything but--they impeached Clinton over lying about a blowjob, an act so utterly inconsequential it barely merits a mention, but they're falling all over themselves to pardon a guy who lied about what I still believe was an act of treason. And, you know, after reading this recent Washington Post four-part expose of Cheney's reign, I'm pretty sure that Libby's lies were about covering up far worse crimes than the Plame leak. In short, he fell on his sword to keep Pandora's box closed, and now he's being rewarded.

The hypocrisy here is thoroughly disgusting. Republicans are scum, and Bush is the Scumbag-in-Chief.