Commutations, Pardons Can Bring Out Worst In Politics


President Bush’s decision to commute the sentence of a convicted liar brought out the worst in politics, says the Associated Press. By keeping Lewis “Scooter” Libby out of jail, Bush defied his promise to hold wrongdoers accountable and undercut his 2000 campaign pledge to “restore honor and dignity” to the White House. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) said the “commutation sends the clear signal that in this administration, cronyism and ideology trump competence and justice.” Clinton’s half brother, Roger, who was convicted of distributing cocaine and lobbied the White House on behalf of others, received a pardon. Hillary Clinton’s brother, Hugh Rodham, was paid tens of thousands of dollars in his successful bid to win pardons for a businessman under investigation for money laundering and a commutation for a convicted drug trafficker.

AP says Hillary Clinton will have a hard time convincing most voters that her brother-in-law would have gotten a pardon in 2001 had his name been Smith. “There appears to be rank hypocrisy at work here on both sides of the political spectrum,” said Joe Gaylord, a GOP consultant who worked for House Speaker Newt Gingrich during impeachment. “It causes Americans to shake their heads in disgust at the political system.”


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