George W. Bush: The Great Commuticator

Think what you will about President Bush’s commuting of Scooter Libby’s 2 1/2 year prison sentence — the right thinks Bush should have issued a full pardon, and the left believes this is cronyism run amok and that the administration thinks they’re above the law — but there’s one thing for certain: People who try to please everyone often end up ticking off almost everyone.

We need look no further than attempts at immigration “reform” for examples of this, but now the president has followed up the amnesty disaster with the commuting of the prison sentence of Scooter Libby — which is bound to earn Bush a legacy as “The Great Commuticator.”

Examples abound of Bush’s attempts to please everybody, resulting in an approval rating that has sunk so low that the polling has to be performed by Robert Ballard, where it is retrieved from just atop the approval rating of Congress.

The commutation of sentence, which rids Libby of jail time but keeps in place the fine and probation, is another futile “meet them halfway” gesture from a man who once said “you’re either with us or against us.” Instead, Bush has proven that he’ll reciprocate by ensuring he’s sort of with you, or just kind of against you, but open to either.

A full pardon for Libby could be on the way, probably on Bush’s last day in office, the brave way Bill Clinton offered many of his controversial pardons.

There should have been either a full pardon or nothing. Anything in between simply represents a lack of acceptance of responsibility on Bush’s part, or a failure to uphold accountability on Libby’s part.

“The sentence was too harsh” some said. Whatever side you take in the Libby debate, can we please throw out this argument? We have child molesters granted parole and hitting the streets to plan their next hideous crime while somebody who hid a joint between his butt cheeks and tried to get through airport security takes his space in a prison cell. When the rest of Americans are pardoned from unfair and sentences that don’t match the crime, I’ll finally have a grasp of this used as a reason for the commutation of Scooter Libby.

Double speak concerning national security, i.e. tough talk and actions against terrorism vs. embracing open borders and appeasement of political enemies are the kinds of things for which the Bush presidency will be best remembered. It’s too bad, because world events offered this administration an opportunity to shine, but instead they’re constantly trying to wipe the tarnish off the silver with a dirty rag and brown shoe polish.

And Libby’s isn’t the only sentence that’s been commuted. The Great Commuticator has also managed to commute this sentence: “The Bush presidency will be remembered for its uncompromising leadership.”

Final note for Scooter Libby: For your own good, please remember for any future testimony three simple words that have helped everybody from Hillary on down to avoid perjury convictions: I don’t remember.

Author: Doug Powers

Doug Powers is a writer, editor and commentator covering news of the day from a conservative viewpoint with an occasional shot of irreverence and a chaser of snark. Townhall Media writer/editor. alum. Bowling novice. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan. Contact: