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Why pardon Scooter Libby?

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Why pardon Libby? Is Trump preparing the public for sensational pardoning ?
  • Independent
    Washington
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    Libby was convicted by Comey, so one of the reasons was to send a big FU to Comey.

    It sends other messages to potential witnesses and Mueller's Investigators. Libby was convicted of obstruction of justice; lying to FBI. If witnesses keep their mouth shut, trump will pardon them.

    I am guessing that Mueller's Team has a backup plan if trump decides to pardon key witnesses. Doubtful the FBI is going assume that Republicans will hold trump accountable when they are currently attacking the FBI for being corrupt.

    [Political Humor]
    trump: "Crime pays when you're president"

  • Independent
    Washington
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    This is a historical challenge to our system of government and justice.

    Does the president of the US have the ability\power commit crimes then control the justice system so he remains in power?

    It is my perception if trump makes it to the 2 year mark, he will be untouchable, but I believe he no longer be the president before Feb 2019; Mueller and\or other factors will force him resign.

    After he is out of office he will build Trump Towers in Russia within 18 months.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    wwjd Wrote:

    This is a historical challenge to our system of government and justice.

    Does the president of the US have the ability\power commit crimes then control the justice system so he remains in power?

    It is my perception if trump makes it to the 2 year mark, he will be untouchable, but I believe he no longer be the president before Feb 2019; Mueller and\or other factors will force him resign.

    After he is out of office he will build Trump Towers in Russia within 18 months.

    Some people on earth like an "new" Osama Bin Laden may shoot him within 18 month.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    The pardoning of Scooter Liberty sends a message to all of his campaign aides and other associates that he doesn't regard "obstruction of justice" as a serious crime when it is the product of a "witch hunt" by powerful interests in the Justice Department and the FBI. He is sending Paul Manafort and others who have chosen to plead "not guilty" or claim the 5th Amendment that he has your back. He alone has the pardon power and plans to use it repeatedly for his "friends"...anyone who remains loyal and doesn't cross him.

    Trump cared little of Scooter Libby but needed a test case to show that he means business. Oh and it probably helps bring any wavering neocons into his corner.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    There are many of us who believe that if Robert Mueller is allowed to bring his investigation to an end without obstruction, that it will reveal much more than just "collusion". Trump's dubious financing and alleged "money laundering" could ultimately reveal that his financial situation is precarious, and it wouldn't take much for the banks and his Russian oligarch lenders to call in their loans, which would have the effect of collapsing into financial ruin the Trump global organization. Maybe even jail time for Trump and his family members

    That is the worst case scenario that he needs to stop, even at the risk of being impeached and removed from office. Removal from office would be a preferred option for him if his Trump business is allowed to function as before. He has already "primed the pump" so to speak of populist thinking in the event he is removed from office because his base will regard it as a sinister plot by the FBI and Democrats to get control of government for their "liberal agenda". Trump remains a master of the messaging.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    There are many of us who believe that if Robert Mueller is allowed to bring his investigation to an end without obstruction, that it will reveal much more than just "collusion". Trump's dubious financing and alleged "money laundering" could ultimately reveal that his financial situation is precarious, and it wouldn't take much for the banks and his Russian oligarch lenders to call in their loans, which would have the effect of collapsing into financial ruin the Trump global organization. Maybe even jail time for Trump and his family members

    That is the worst case scenario that he needs to stop, even at the risk of being impeached and removed from office. Removal from office would be a preferred option for him if his Trump business is allowed to function as before. He has already "primed the pump" so to speak of populist thinking in the event he is removed from office because his base will regard it as a sinister plot by the FBI and Democrats to get control of government for their "liberal agenda". Trump remains a master of the messaging.

    Yes Schmidt, again you hit it right on related to the mentality here. Indeed I'm afraid that due to our non-laws for Presidents as well the weird "pardoning" allowance and stupid things like claiming the "fifth" makes this country very stupid in the eyes of other countries where a Prime Minster or leader does not have those "luxuries", but proper laws to prevent the anomalies possible only in the US.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Just to clarify, when you say the "mentality here", that applies largely to Trump's hard core 35 percent and perhaps an additional 5-10 percent of tribal Republicans and a few anti-trade Democrats. But the vast majority of Americans do not align with the Trump doctrine.

    Unfortunately the Democratic caucus remains divided between the moderates and the "no compromising" progressives. Critical thinking is in short supply on the ideological extremes on both sides. Emotions still play a large part in our discourse and voting habits.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Not a fair description :"the moderates and the "no compromising" progressives""

    If the moderates would compromise they would be progressives and there would be party unity. Times have changed .

    Should read:

    the "no compromising" moderates and the "no compromising" progressives

  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Dutch Wrote:
    wwjd Wrote:

    This is a historical challenge to our system of government and justice.

    Does the president of the US have the ability\power commit crimes then control the justice system so he remains in power?

    It is my perception if trump makes it to the 2 year mark, he will be untouchable, but I believe he no longer be the president before Feb 2019; Mueller and\or other factors will force him resign.

    After he is out of office he will build Trump Towers in Russia within 18 months.

    Some people on earth like an "new" Osama Bin Laden may shoot him within 18 month.
    Always a possibility. The world is full of crazy, twisted and angry individuals. You never know what the future holds.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Chet Ruminski Wrote:

    Not a fair description :"the moderates and the "no compromising" progressives""

    If the moderates would compromise they would be progressives and there would be party unity. Times have changed .

    Should read:

    the "no compromising" moderates and the "no compromising" progressives

    The moderates deal with reality. They know for a fact that they cannot get what they want because the make-up in Congress and indeed in our electorate is divided...their "brains" are wired differently. That's reality.

    Real progress is made incrementally when critical thinkers from both sides get together and seek common ground, compromise as needed on other issues, and then move ahead. Those ideologue members of Congress who are elected on a platform that includes "no compromises" with the other side make a lot of noise in their echo chambers but are basically useless as listeners in sitting around the table in trying to creatively achieve real reform and legislation with the other side.

    Anyway, we are off topic. Let's get back to Scooter Libby.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Dutch Wrote:
    Yes Schmidt, again you hit it right on related to the mentality here. Indeed I'm afraid that due to our non-laws for Presidents as well the weird "pardoning" allowance and stupid things like claiming the "fifth" makes this country very stupid in the eyes of other countries where a Prime Minster or leader does not have those "luxuries", but proper laws to prevent the anomalies possible only in the US.

    "Claiming the 5th" refers to the 5th Amendment (our Bill of Rights) in the United States Constitution which protects individuals from being compelled to be witnesses against themselves in criminal cases. It is not a "stupid thing" but rather an institutional part of our justice system. Americans I believe support it wholeheartedly.

    On Pardons, see this Newsweek article:

    Where Does the Presidential Pardon Come From? | Opinion

    And a Washington Post article from 2017:

    Here’s what you need to know about the presidential power to pardon

    The latter article shows past instances of pardons by presidents. Jimmy Carter, for example, granted a blanket pardon to more than 200,000 men charged with evading the Vietnam draft.

    I agree, however, that the pardon power has been abused in the past and now perhaps the present with the Scooter Libby pardon.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Sorry, this is the only country which has the "fifth: which is nuts. Our governor Scott claimed it multiple times and got of the "hook" and became governor; his buddies got jail time and he got millions by corrupting hospitals. Thus you call this a good thing? No other other country has this crazy provision. Typical America!!!
  • Independent
    California
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    It is possible that, to run a serious campaign with a chance of winning, you have to move to the center. Trump has ostensibly proven the opposite, as did G.W. Bush before him, who both ran on energizing the base on their own side, and disdaining any attempt to meet the left halfway. Obama's first campaign was also angled more towards getting out the young, left-wing vote and the minority vote rather than trying to appease conservatives.

    But let's grant for the sake of argument that you really do have to make policy compromises with the right wing in order to get elected. What, then, are the policy compromises that "no compromise" progressives should be willing to make?

    The people who make this point struggle, in my experience, to come up with one.

    The most common suggestion is that progressives should have compromised on Hillary's hawkish stance. It's true that, at least in my experience, this was the sticking point for many progressives. They just couldn't vote for someone who had voted (nay campaigned) for Bush's war in Iraq, lobbied for strikes on Libya, threatened to obliterate Iran, and was now promising regime change in Syria and the concurrent face-off against Russian forces there.

    But is it true that you have to accept, to be a pragmatic moderate rather than an unrealistic ideologue, that the nominee is going to be enthusiastic about confronting Russia and getting the nation into military entanglements in the middle east? Is that the only kind of candidate that has a chance of getting elected?

    Absolutely not. The last four elected Presidents---W.J. Clinton, G.W. Bush, Obama and Trump---all got into office running on a platform of less intervention, less regime change, fewer military actions and less war. They all got into office running against more hawkish opponents. Bill Clinton stressed the need to enjoy the cold-war peace dividend and refocus on domestic issues like the economy and jobs. Dubya (despite how he ended up presiding) stressed in his campaign the need for a more "humble" foreign policy than his opponent Al Gore. He proposed an end to the US telling other nations how to live, an end to "nation building", an end to the assumption that the US should be the world's policeman, and emphasized the need for the US to avoid foreign military entanglements. Obama ran loudly on getting out of Iraq and dialing back the excesses of the war on terror. Trump ran on an America-first isolationism that sought to end our "disastrous" attempts at middle eastern regime change.

    That's three decades of Presidents getting into office by (or despite?) running on the anti-war message. So anyone who tells you that, to run a realistic, centrist, winnable campaign you have to run as a hawk and show enthusiasm for foreign military entanglements well... that person is selling you a crock.

  • Independent
    California
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    Apart from that, most of the "uncompromising left"s objections to Hillary were not objections to her policies. They were objections to her history, her character and her apparent allegiances.

    One objection, for example, was that she gave very highly paid speeches to Wall St. This seemed to imply that she was serving Wall St first, and not the ordinary Joe on Main St. She could have helped assuage these concerns by releasing the transcripts of the speeches, but she refused, thus strengthening the impression that she had something to hide. A related objection was that she used to be on the board of Walmart during their most notorious union busting days. And another was that she had long partnered with big fracking and the prison industrial complex.

    A further objection was that she had systematically defended, over decades, an alleged (and let's face it, probable) serial sexual predator, a man plausibly accused not just of sexual assault, but of rape. Electing her would put the aforementioned individual back on his old stomping ground, but with a bit more free time.

    Another concern was that she had some pretty disreputable associations. Her former business partners were sent to jail for crimes committed even while they were still partners with Hillary. Her husband had been impeached and struck from the bar for perjury and obstruction of justice. She claimed among her mentors men who were pariahs on the left, including alleged war criminals and former Klansmen. She was under investigation by the FBI, and was ultimately found to have been "extremely careless" with national security.

    And, lastly, the Democrats were found to have, um... "leaned on the scales" a little to get her through the primaries. This sure didn't do her any favors among progressives who felt they had been swindled.

    None of these are disputes over policy. They are objections to the history, character and suitability of the candidate. You can complain about the progressives being inflexible purists over left-wing policy, but there is no policy-compromise here for the progressives to make.

    .


    Believe it or not, this is not yet another attempt to bash Hillary. That would be a pointless waste of time. What matters, here, is that the Democrats had better figure out what actually happened in 2016 if they're not to repeat it. And to do that, they had better stop peddling half-truths and myths designed, not to get at the truth, but to excuse Hillary Clinton. Those myths had a purpose in 2016, when defending Clinton was part of what was needed to keep Trump out. But now they just get in the way of an honest and informative analysis, which makes them a liability.