Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Scooter, Big Dog and the Hypocrisy Gene

Having read the most excellent coverage of the sentencing of Lewis "Scooter" Libby at FDL, I referenced an additional comment by Rick Perlstein titled Washington X-Ray. He gives an analysis of the many letters submitted by "The Conservative Thought Machine", summing them up with this final observation:

    What's missing from every single one - every one: a single forthright statement about the magnitude of the offense for which he'd already been convicted.
As Jane Hamsher further elaborates:

    Which brings us to, oddly, what for me was the most telling moment of the Libby trial today. It is customary for those found guilty to express contrition during the sentencing phase...Libby expressed none. Zero, zip, bupkis...Libby that he thought himself a great man to whom a terrible wrong has been done. Today Scooter's career as a man on trial ended and his life as professional right wing victim began.
It is one of the most difficult ideas to grasp for those of us who read Al Gores book Assault on Reason, this persistent double standard when the Right condemns President Clinton for allegedly lying under oath on a weak civil litigation (latter dismissed) and yet will defend Scooter Libby lying under oath to obstruct justice (prevent a prosecutor investigating a Federal Crime). In the words of the Master Attorney Alan Dershowitz:

    On the basis of my research and experiences, I am convinced that if President Clinton were an ordinary citizen, he would not be prosecuted for his allegedly false statements, which were made in a civil deposition about a collateral sexual matter later found inadmissible in a case eventually dismissed and then settled. If President Clinton were ever to be prosecuted or impeached for perjury on the basis of the currently available evidence, it would indeed represent an improper double standard: a selectively harsher one for the president (and perhaps a handful of other victims of selective prosecution) and the usual laxer one for everyone else.
Every one else except Henry (youthful indiscretions) Hyde. His opening statement during the Impeachment of the Big Dog:

    We cannot have one law for the ruler and another law for the ruled...If that understanding is lost ...the American democratic experiment and the freedom it guarantees is in jeopardy.

    ...Let's look to the future, to the children of today who are the presidents and members of Congress of the next century. And let's not crush their hope that they too will inherent a law- governed society.
Contrasted this with another member of the Conservative smart set, my Jewish Sister Mona Charon:
    Jewish World Review /Nov. 24, 1998 /5 Kislev 5759

    For months, I have tried to understand the attitude of millions of my fellow Americans who, faced with unrebutted evidence of presidential law breaking, shrug their shoulders and say, "Let's move on." If I've heard one, I've heard a hundred callers to radio and television programs say, "What the president did was intolerable. But it wasn't impeachable. So drop it."
    ...we should probably go ahead and remove perjury from the criminal code as well. After all, people lie all the time out of embarrassment about money, drugs...There are as many rationalizations about lies as there are liars.
    Libby's crime, according to Fitzgerald, is perjury and obstruction of justice. The grounds? People's memories of who said what to whom more than three years ago differ. Good Lord, may I never be subject to a grand jury inquest, as I forget appointments, names, faces, passwords, jokes, what I told my husband yesterday and whether or not I paid the phone bill last month.
Your old Sarge is a Political Science Major not a geneticist, but I really believe the hypocrisy gene is hardwired into Republican DNA.

This is not about paying phone bills Mona, it's about payback for your enemy, real or imagined. When Joe Wilson wrote that oped in the NYT about his trip to Niger, shooter Cheney decided he was an enemy that had to be destroyed. The present Administration is filled with such men and women, big ego's with small minds who view the slightest insult as an excuse to attack.

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