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Tomarken.com » An Alternative Presidential Pardon
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To the future in reverse...
Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour.
Tomarken.com > Revolution > An Alternative Presidential Pardon (06-18-07)
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An Alternative Presidential Pardon
Richie Zevin
San Francisco, CA-06/17/07

Reporters, pundits, and bystanders have given much attention lately to the issue of President George W. Bush’s legacy. One concern is whether a Presidential Pardon of I. Lewis Libby, the now-convicted former Chief of Staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, would in some way mar the future, collective memory of the President’s already tenuous administration. President Bush may elect to delay his decision until the end of Mr. Libby’s appeals process, which could coincide with the end of his own presidency, and simply pardon Mr. Libby in the final hours of his role as Executive.

However, if there is anything we have learned about the President during his years in office, it is that he does not like to wait. First, he declared himself President prior to discovering that he lost the popular vote. He then became impatient with the United Nations weapons inspectors who meticulously catalogued their way through Iraq’s armories full of non-existent weapons of mass destruction. In response to their deliberate process, he sent troops to capture Baghdad and dissolve the Iraqi armed forces without planning for the looting and killing that would follow. Finally, he rushed into announcing "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq before fully explaining not only the mission to which he was referring, but also why scores of people continued to die of unnatural causes each day throughout the country.

Given Mr. Bush’s historical pattern of behavior, he is surely looking for a quick fix once again-some single, epic flourish of his erasable pen that would confirm his legacy as a president of action and as a chivalrous man of honor and integrity, one who could rescue a damsel in distress as did the gallant knights in days of yore if only given the opportunity. Therefore, the single appropriate course of action that President Bush can take right now is to grant a full presidential pardon to Paris Hilton.

Ms. Hilton has been in a world of trouble lately, both legal and-if her medical and legal teams are to be believed-psychological in nature. This young woman is in desperate need of support, not just from her underage fan club, but from a policymaker who has the foresight and fortitude to disregard the narrow-minded special interest groups-in this case, the authors of the Constitution and the judges who pledge to uphold it-who have called for her discipline in the aftermath of several high-profile arrests. President Bush fits the bill as well as anyone, and as a compassionate conservative, he must follow his heart and send a stern message to both the 71% of the voting public who disapprove of his job performance and to the 29% of constituents composing his political base who continue to support him. He must show that not only does he empathize with the plights of those in need, but that the real perpetrator of this crime is not a reckless heiress but rather an enormous, triple-branched government that could use a little pruning.

By circumventing the judicial process, President Bush could accomplish more with a single action than he has in his administration’s one and a half terms thus far: he could make a positive difference in the life of just one person.

Richard Zevin

820B Castro St.

San Francisco, CA 94114

rbzevin2@yahoo.com


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