Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Incredibly Stupid Statement of the Day, 06/05/07


[~11:15-11:25 am CST] I'm live-blogging today's Incredibly Stupid Statement ... it's hard to imagine that it won't arise from the sentencing of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, so it's pretty much just a matter of clicking on "Search Blogs" in a target-rich timeframe and awaiting the inevitable (while going over one of my old articles that will probably prove relevant).

[~11:25 am CST] Ah, it's beginning: A short There Are Islamo-Fascists Under My Bed Pajamas Media affiliate take -- of the expected tenor, but not really Incredibly Stupid Statement of the Day caliber.

[~11:35 am CST] Nice Deb comes in with the first post-sentencing pardon request I've noticed. Nice bait, but I'll pass.

Now, referring to that other article of mine linked above: Alger Hiss was sentenced to 44 months for two counts of perjury. Libby is only on the hook for 30 months on two counts of perjury PLUS one count of obstruction of justice and one count of lying to federal investigators. IOW, the use of terms like "harsh" and "draconian" can be redeemed at the counter for extra Incredibly Stupid Statement points.

[~11:45 am CST] Down on The Corner ... out in the Street. In the comments on the latter piece, some dim-bulb claiming to be a journalism professor arguably wanders into Incredibly Stupid Statement territory (the charges weren't OVER the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, Einstein), but I'm not calling it just yet. Surely there's redder meat elsewhere.

[~11:55 am CST] Hmmm ... I think we have a contender. From Right Thinking [sic] Girl:

Libby’s conviction and imprisonment is a social spanking, a politically motivated gesture to assuage the passions of Democrats. Likewise, former Enron CEO, Jeff Skilling’s conviction and imprisonment is a strike for class envy.


I'm putting RTG in the pool, anyway.

[~12:05 pm CST] Steve Manning at On The Right! ... no, not Incredibly Stupid. Actually, rather sensible if one believes that Libby has been politically victimized either instead of, or in addition to, being prosecuted for real crimes.

[~12:15 pm CST] As a side note, there is room on the left for Incredible Stupidity on this. I'm keeping my eyes open, but so far I'm not seeing any mouth-foaming. Drinking Liberally even has a tidbit on the specifics of the sentence.

[~12:35 pm CST] Our PJ-wearing friends are back, this time with the "but Sandy Berger stuffed classified documents down his pants, and he's not in gaol" defense. Well, yeah, Berger's an asshat. But did Berger's theft and destruction of those documents compromise a covert CIA anti-WMD-proliferation operation, like the activities that Libby perjured himself over did?

[~12:45 pm CST] National Review proper -- their editorial board -- is out with the expected "pardon him" piece. To explore how Incredibly Stupid it is, let's magically transport ourselves back to January 25th, 1950 and look for the following editorial in NR's pages:

We said it in four days ago, when Alger Hiss became the only person convicted of any crime in the Pumpkin Papers investigation, and we'll say it again now that he has been sentenced to three years and eight months in prison: President Truman should pardon Hiss, and do it now.


See it? No, I didn't either.

[~1:00 pm CST] I dunno, guys. The NR pardon plea is Incredibly Stupid, but its Incredible Stupidity is of the expected/ubiquitous/driven into the ground from so much repetition variety. It's flatter than day-old beer -- hell, it's just recycled Iran-Contra chicanery. We want fresh Incredible Stupidity here ... Incredible Stupidity with some zip and zing! "We're about to turn the corner in Iraq" never gets old. "Libby didn't tape a microdot to a lightpole a block from Iran's embassy, so he should walk" was old before it was uttered. I'm disqualifying NR from today's competition.


[~1:45 pm CST] Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner ... and it's from the left. I was just about to give today's award to RTG in a decision when the knockout punch landed:

Now ... it might not be fair, but I see this kind of betrayal by James Carville to be a metaphor for everything that is wrong about the Clintons.


Why is this Incredibly Stupid? Because Carville's "betrayal" consists of co-signing his wife's letter attesting to the good character of a family friend and asking a judge for leniency in sentencing that friend.

The letter (gifs available at the Booman Tribune article) is not a defense of Libby with respect to the crimes he has been convicted of. The letter is not a defense of the Bush administration, or the war on Iraq, or the "Iraq sought uranium from Niger" claim, or anything like that. Here's the concluding paragraph:

My family is praying the wisdom and mercy you bring to bear in determining Scooter's future will include a consideration of his family, the price they have already paid and what further justice would be served by additional devastation to them and the many other children who love Scooter.


To call this a "betrayal" is not just Incredibly Stupid, it's Monumentally Stupid -- and morally shameful. As Jefferson said, "I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." Would that there were more like Jefferson -- and apparently Carville -- in that respect.

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