After the 2004 election, I promised myself (and those of you who read this blog on a regular basis) that I’d refrain from discussing politics. I’m going to have to break that promise.

Scooter Frakking Libby The man pictured here is Lewis “Scooter” Libby. Several months ago, he was sentenced to 30 months in jail, 2 years probation, and a $250,000 fine. Some of us in the public, looking on at this battle of the Beltway elite, felt like some small measure of justice was achieved, and that a message was sent to our fundamentally corrupt Executive Branch. (Even those who think they’re not part of the Executive…unless and until he decides he is again.)

Fast forward to today. After having learned about, among other things, the shadow government being run by our Vice President last week, our government decides to spit in the collective face of the American public by commuting Scooter Libby’s prison sentence. That’s right – the President who swore to “Get the leaker” just gave said leaker a ‘get out of jail free’ card.

“I respect the jury’s verdict,” Bush said in a statement. “But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison.”

Or, in layman’s terms, the President of the United States just gave the Bronx Cheer to the federal court system.

Approximately a decade ago, the Republican-controlled Legislative Branch attempted to impeach the sitting president for an extramarital affair. We now have a sitting president who has both obstructed justice himself and served as an accessory to the obstruction of justice, invaded our privacy, and used falsified evidence to engage this nation’s military in a quagmire in Iraq. How, exactly, isn’t this worse than getting a hummer in the Oval Office?

My friend Kevin Lawver has done a fine job of establishing the rationale for this administration’s ouster. The blogosphere in general is going apeshit crazy with rage, and really, you can’t blame them – how can any rational human being continue to stand behind this President and call themselves ‘rational’?

I was particularly struck by something Keith Olbermann (who, incidentally, will call for the resignation of both the President and Vice President in a ‘Special Comment’ tomorrow night) used to segue into his coverage of the Libby debacle this evening, and I’m going to end this post with those words:

“You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing lately…. Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God,—go!”
-Thomas Carlyle, Oliver Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches, vol. 3, part 7, pp. 34–35 (1897).

Oliver Cromwell spoke these words to the Rump Parliament in 1653, as one man frustrated with a corrupt body’s unwillingness to cede power. Seems eerily prescient today, doesn’t it?