March 7, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Fallout from the Libby trial

I guess I wasn't really surprised by Rush Limbaugh's whining about the Scooter Libby guilty verdict today. It's ironic, given that Rush observed (in June 2006) that Karl Rove avoided indictment precisely because he told the truth to the grand jury. Like Rush, the Wall Street Journal strenuously objected to this "travesty of justice." Libby, they say, "has been convicted of telling the truth about Mr. Wilson and Ms. Plame to some reporters but then not owning up to it." So, should Bush pardon Libby, as they argue? I agree with Ann Althouse's argument against a pardon (link via Instapundit): Libby "was convicted of perjury. Whatever you think of the Plame affair and the whole investigation, why should Bush condone that?"

I found it quite striking that the editors of the Washington Post also criticized the prosecution of Libby, saying that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was pursuing a "pointless Washington scandal." Well, that's a cozy insider's perspective for you. (How often do they agree with Rush Limbaugh? ) It is a perfect (and ironic) parallel to the bogus argument that the impeachment charges against President Clinton were "just about sex." Perjury is unacceptable, period. I suppose there are still some die-hard defenders of Al Capone who say he was "just a tax dodger."

As a general principle, I think both sides should avoid linking this case to the substantive issue of intelligence reports on Iraqi WMDs. For the record, in Oct. 2005 I called into question the common misconception that the Fitzgerald prosecution would undermine the Bush rationale for war. I just wish the President had made a more concerted effort "to get to the bottom of this," as he pledged in September 2003.

Doubts about Rudy

In today's Washington Post, Ruth Marcus dissented from the recent "surge" of enthusiasm for Rudolph Giuliani's candidacy. Behind the big grin and the warm, fuzzy rhetoric, she found very little of substance in his speech to CPAC last week, just vague Reaganesque platitudes. This raises serious doubts about his policy positions and inner convictions. Well, he will certainly be getting more scrutiny in the months to come.

Virginia blog wars 2

Here we go again: A guy named Carl who does the Spark It Up blog criticized J. C. Wilmore ("Richmond Democrat") over the Virginia Blog Carnival, to which I first posted last month. In return, Mr. Wilmore apparently sent Carl some intimidating e-mails implying a law suit was being prepared. Some time this evening, however, his original post from a few days ago calling for a "new blog carnival" mysteriously disappeared. Unless there is some technical glitch, such a post deletion is a major breach of blogger ethics. In his post announcing cancellation of the new blog carnival, Wilmore complained about the lack of interest shown by lefty bloggers and the "non-stop harassment directed at me by certain bloggers..."

As a relative bystander in the Virginia blogosphere, it all seems very strange to me; who is really "harrassing" whom? Should we even care? Why on earth do people get so worked up about such things? The only reason I can think of is that they have very big and/or fragile egos.