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Just Pardon Him Already and Be Done With It
Clinton's Final Humiliation

By Anthony Giardiello



Eight weeks into the Bush administration and Bill Clinton is still in the news, still sticking in the craw of his political adversaries.  At issue is whether his pardon of Marc Rich was granted in exchange for payment.  George Bush, must be frustrated with the attention that Clinton is getting.  But George Bush could have put a stop to this weeks ago.  All he need do is exercise his presidential authority and pardon Clinton for pardoning Rich.

It is still not too late to end the media’s love affair with Clinton and focus attention on himself and his ideas for the country.  Clinton’s soap opera-like antics have much better production values for the media than some boring old national budget. Clinton claims to have been “blind sided” by all the attention this has received.  He may be basking in the attention all the same.  For those who crave attention, even negative attention will suffice.  But a Bush pardon would steal all of his thunder.  Far from letting Clinton off the hook, it would be his final humiliation (assuming he has any humility).  I can only see positives for Bush.  Only the most ardent Clinton haters dreaming to see him proved guilty of anything could object.  Dubya wants to put the Clinton era behind us.  If we are to take him at his word then this pardon is the answer.

Bush must have considered this course of action.  There must have been conversations with his closest advisors in which they weighed the pros and cons.  Therefore, he must have made a conscious decision against it.  Let’s consider possible reasons why.

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1.      Bush subconsciously is relieved at having the media’s attention directed elsewhere. Perhaps he is intentionally hiding in the shadow of the latest Clinton mini-scandal.  He does not yet seem too comfortable in the glare of the public spotlight.  Although this theory is my personal favorite I also think it the least likely.

2.      He is afraid it would be too controversial.  It could not be as controversial as Ford’s pardon of Nixon.  And in retrospect, most agree that was the right thing to do for the country.  And that is exactly what Bush could claim with this action, that it would be best for the country.  But Bush, in his attempt to claim moral high ground, is so concerned about being the un-Clinton that he may be playing it overly conservative.

3.      Bush does not want to upset the Republicans in Congress whose life work has become get Clinton.  Clinton has become their white whale and they will track him to the ends of the earth and destroy all who get in their way.  While this is a possible scenario, Bush would be more inclined to listen to his cabinet advisors.  Come to think of it, that group is not exactly a Clinton fan club.  Still, putting an end to pardon-gate would be the biggest favor Bush could do for Congress.  The more protracted this becomes the worse they look.  And there is little they can do to hurt Clinton now.  They do realize he’s not president anymore, don’t they?

Ok, I know the argument.  They must pursue this because the American people have the right to know and we must show that nobody is above the law.  These are convenient excuses.  Most American people I know already feel they have a pretty good handle on the facts of the matter and no amount of congressional hearings is going to increase anybody’s understanding.  Nor does anyone think that this will solve the problem of economic inequities in the justice system.  Rich people buying political favors.  Tell me it doesn’t happen in this country.  Bush should pardon Clinton and put an end to this colossal waste of time and public resources.

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© Anthony Giardiello, 2001

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