Saturday, March 10, 2007

From E.J. Dionne Jr.'s latest column:
This administration has operated on the basis of a hyperpartisanship not seen in decades. Worse, the destroy-the-opposition, our-team-vs.-their-team approach has infected large parts of the conservative movement and the Republican Party. That's a shame, since there are plenty of good people in both. Still, the tendency to subordinate principles to win short-term victories and cover up for the administration is, alas, rampant on the right.

Take the rush of conservative organs demanding an immediate pardon of Scooter Libby after his conviction on four counts related to lying and obstruction of justice. Last I checked, conservatives were deeply committed to the rule of law. They said so frequently during the Clinton impeachment saga.

But the conscientious Libby jury had barely announced its conclusions when the Wall Street Journal editorial page and the National Review, among others, called for a pardon because the case, as the Journal editorial put it, involved "a travesty of justice."

In other words, when an impartial judicial system does something that conservatives don't like, the will of conservatives, not the rule of law, should triumph.
Exactly. Bill Clinton was to be tossed out of office due to "the rule of law," but when said rule of law happens to go against one of their own, they quickly and adamantly make exceptions and cry foul.

Apparently our judicial system only works when decisions are handed down that they favor, but it's to be criticized and undermined if the verdict is not to their liking. Oh, I see. I believe that's how most despots operate.

If for some reason the jury decided Libby was innocent on all counts, you better believe we would've heard laudatory plaudits from the conservative scream machine, embracing the beauty of our legal system. Instead, we had to endure them clamoring for a do-over in the form of a pardon, with many suggesting the jury was confused or worse, clueless.

Their shrill reaction to this justified outcome serves to convey a concise portrait of what they've become. In short, duplicitous hypocrites who view the world as simply us vs. them, and any principles held can always be conveniently broken.

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