Give the People What They Want


The first poll on the Scooter Libby commutation pinpoints the source of those howls of outrage and despair piercing through your windows: the 60 percent of the country who disagree with the decision.

President Bush has commuted the portion of Scooter Libby's sentence that would have required Libby to serve 30 months in prison. Libby remains a convicted felon—he still must pay a 250 thousand dollar fine and serve 2 years of probation—but he will not go to prison. Based on what you now know, should the President have pardoned Scooter Libby completely? Should the president have taken no action, and left the prison sentence in place? … Or, do you agree with the president's decision to commute the prison portion of the Libby sentence?

17% Pardoned Scooter Libby Completely
60% Left The Prison Sentence In Place
21% Agree With The President's Decision

No surprises here. 62 percent of conservatives think the decision was just right or not quite Scooter-friendly enough, as do 58 percent of Republicans. But those are the only groups that support the decision. The third-highest bloc of support? A whopping 45 percent of Hispanics. So expect the immigration reform bill to ooze back into the Senate next week.

This might be the most boring story on the planet but it's a goldmine for cable news bookers. Here was American Spectator Editor-in-Chief R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. on Hardball yesterday playing the role of a fattened goose for David Shuster's rusty meat-ax.

SHUSTER:  Bob, did The American Spectator take a position on President Clinton's impeachment for perjury and obstruction of justice?

TYRRELL:  Well, The Spectator aside, I did in my recent book…

SHUSTER:  You supported it, right?

TYRRELL:  I assume you're alluding to my recent book on Clinton and retirement which I…. 

SHUSTER:  And you supported the impeachment, right?

TYRRELL:  Yes.  Well—but I thought you were talking about…


SHUSTER:  My point is, what's the difference between supporting an impeachment of President Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice and why not then support Scooter Libby going to prison when he is convicted by a jury with a Republican judge, and he is two-and-a-half years?

TYRRELL:  Well, I have an entirely different take on it.