Monday, July 02, 2007

Equal Protection, and Other Fictions

I suppose the Big News today is the Emperor's commutation of the prison sentence of one Irving L. Libby. I dare say this will cause an outburst of major-brand partisan outrage or rejoicing: depending, of course, on which major brand one is hearing from. As one who lacks a dog in this particular fight, I decline to get all excited. A few thoughts do occur to me, though.

(1) I don't suppose Mr. Libby was in much danger of being confined in one of the gubmint's anal-rape gulags anyway. However, it now seems certain that he won't have that particular experience, and I'm glad that he won't. I only wish that the many thousands of other Americans who are entering gubmint confinement this week could be likewise assured that they won't be the recipients of forced sodomy. Unlike Mr. Libby, they're not so well supplied with powerful friends and sponsors.

(2) One does have to wonder about such Latin things as cui bono? and quid pro quo. Obviously, I don't know if Mr. Libby's protection of da Veep, and maybe da Prez, was delivered under some verbal agreement like "I don't go to jail ... because, if I do, I'm going to have a lot to say." But if there was an arrangement like that in place, then there's a near-perfect identity between what you'd expect to happen, and what did just happen. I'm just sayin' ...

(3) It's difficult to avoid some "two Americas" thoughts here. Regardless of which major brand they're associated with, the probability of anyone who has appropriate connections in Mordor-on-the-Potomac actually being subjected to the same wrath of the law that schmucks like you or I could expect is ... well, very small. When the famous "bottom line" is encountered, the supervisory class can usually be relied upon to recognize -- and take care of -- its own.

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