Why Bush may blunder on Libby

As the always well written digby notes in making a different point:

Is it just me or is the DC establishment’s circling of the wagons around Scooter just a little bit over the top, even for them? I mean, I can appreciate the fact that he’s one of them and they think he’s been targeted by a runaway Republican prosecutor and a runaway Republican judge. (It happens.) But this rending of garments over him going to jail is verging on hysteria.

DC insiders don’t want Scooter to go to jail.  It would be almost like — well, them having to go to jail themselves.  And going to jail for your crimes (like going to Iraq to fight) is something for other people to do. 

This pro-Scooter hurricane within the DC elite is pushing George W. Bush in the direction of a politically catastrophic pardon in two ways: first, as insider demands for action become ever shriller, the pressure on Bush to grant a pardon grows; second, the loud cries to “Free Scooter” by the people who own the biggest megaphones in the neighborhood may mislead him into believing a pardon will be reasonably well received.

It won’t be — not even close.  In fact, pardoning Scooter will anger ordinary Americans in ways the Beltway crowd can’t begin to understand.  And the reason they can’t understand, of course, is that the very elitism that causes them to support Scooter is what will feed the public rage.  

Bush may well leave Scooter in his soup; he’ll definitely do so if he thinks it’s in his personal interest.  It’s also possible that an appeals court will let Bush off the hook, at least for now, by overruling (the expected ruling) of the District Court judge requiring Scooter to begin serving his sentence immediately and reinstating bail pending the appeal.  Normally, such an order would be unlikely, but somehow the unlikely has a tendency to happen in our increasingly partisan Republican federal courts when it helps a Republican bigwig.

But if Bush does give into the Beltway’s urgings and pardons Scooter — as I personally think is most likely — all hell is going to break loose, leaving Bush even more badly damaged than he is now.  And if this occurs, one of the big reasons will be the cluelessness of the DC elite. 


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