Friday, November 16, 2007

Bush + Libby's Pardon = Same for Bonds?

HT to TP...

It’s not often that my love of politics and my love of sports collide, but it has this week.

For those of you who don’t know, Major League baseball’s home run king Barry Bonds was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury on five counts of perjury and obstruction of justice due to his testimony about steroid use. Now he is looking at a possible prison term of thirty years.

(Note: I agree that steroids are bad, and that using them is wrong. BUT… until recently, steroid use was not “illegal” in MLB… so I place just as much blame on the league’s shoulders as I do the players because the league looked the other way… and I’m unsure how baseball can penalize people for doing something in the past that was, at the time, not illegal… but before I get off on a wild tangent, let’s get back to our regularly scheduled post)

Following the indictment, White House spokesman Tony Fratto put out a statement, saying; “The president is very disappointed to hear this. […] As this case is now in the criminal justice system, we will refrain from any further specific comments about it. But clearly this is a sad day for baseball.”

Is Bush disappointed enough that he would consider commuting Bonds’ sentence if he’s convicted???

Consider this tidbit from ThinkProgress;

“The White House response to Bonds’ case recalls their reaction to the indictment of Scooter Libby. Libby too was charged with five counts of perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements. Bush said, “We’re all saddened by today’s news.” Cheney expressed his “deep regret” that Libby had to resign. […] Libby was of course found guilty by a jury and sentenced to 30 months in jail, but before he served a day in prison, Bush commuted his sentence. Tony Snow claimed that Bush’s commutation order was issued on the “basis of principle. […] So will the White House now operate on that same principle and also consider And if not, why should he be treated differently?”

Interesting theory, isn’t it? And it is just that, a theory… but remember that Bush, according to sports columnist Skip Bayless, “looked the other way…” regarding steroid use when he was the managing partner of the Texas Rangers.

Baltimore Sun columnist Rick Mease asked in a column today; “So what makes Bonds different? … His biggest mistake? Breaking a record. And maybe not looking quite enough like Scooter Libby.”

Pretty harsh condemnation of Bush if you ask me…

Bush pardoned Libby for, essentially, the same thing Bonds did: lying to a federal grand jury… so if Bush doesn’t pardon Bonds, he’s going to have to answer more questions about his pardoning of Libby… and with public opinion on the pardon already squarely against him, the public won’t stand for cronyism as an excuse…

Stay tuned.

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