The Libby commutation:
Too bad Scooter won't even do as much jail time as Paris Hilton.
On the bright side, the action by Bush may bring Republicans, both in Congress and those running for president, closer to the president. This at a time when they are apparently trying to disconnect themselves with the administration. So while Bush's action may give him a few points (from formerly disaffected neocons), the net effect will be to make it harder for Republicans to differentiate themselves from him. And that could mean a stronger showing for Democrats in 2008.
Remember too, that this commutation will allow, for a while, all Democrats to stand in unison. They need a tonic every so often to keep them energized (regrettably). Speaking of which, they may get more pugnacious when it comes to Congress demanding documents and testimony from the White House.
Also, Libby isn't some schmoe in the Commerce Department. He was Cheney's chief of staff, and with the recent stories about Cheney practically running the White House, Bush's act looks like that of a puppet on a string. Not good PR for The Decider.
LAUGHABLE: The notion the Libby will have to pay a "stiff fine" is absurd. He'll get that money in 30 seconds from his well-heeled supporters (like Steve Forbes
TIMING: Yes, this commutation came shortly after a court said Libby would have to go to jail while appealing his case. But the commutation was also issued during a Fourth of July week
. Many regular commentators, in print, radio and television, are away. Not quite a Friday Afternoon Document Dump, but a near approximation. There are many people traveling this week or focusing on the Fourth, and their attention to the Libby story will be diminished.
IMHO, he will probably get the money for the fine from Fred Thompson, Mr. Law and Order, because he manages the scooter defense fund, just sayin'