Sunday, July 15, 2007

Nothing frustrates me more than when politicians treat me like a two-year-old

I really don't ask for much other than for people to treat me like an adult.

Do not patronize me. Do not treat me with a condescending attitude as if you think you know more than I do. Do not make a ridiculous statement or decision then provide a half-baked reason for doing so that insults my intelligence.

Politicians have been trying to deceive me a lot lately, and I am pretty angry about it.

Of course, most cynics will respond that politicians try to deceive folks all the time. Why should now be any different than all those other times?

I really don't have an answer for that, but I do know I am sick and tired of elected officials who like treating me like a moron. And, believe me, both Democrats and Republicans have been coming out of the woodwork lately trying to make me feel like an idiot.

It all began recently when President Bush commuted the prison sentence of Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice and sentenced to 30 months in prison when he lied to a grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA officer's identity while he was Vice President Cheney's chief of staff.

Bush said he was commuting the sentence because it was "excessive" when compared to others who have been convicted of the same crime.

This may or may not be so. Both supporters and opponents of the president's decision can provide plenty of data that defend their reaction to his decision.

However, the president's motives smell fishy to me, and he misses an important point. Elected officials, and those who work for them, should be held to a higher standard. They are working to serve the public (that's you and me, folks).

Therefore, when people with stature this high break the law, they must be held accountable in ways that demonstrate they have broken the sacred trust the public has placed in their hands.

Call me crazy, but committing perjury in a court of law is very serious business, and it must be treated as so.

Libby should have gone to jail to show that all people in this country are held accountable for their actions. Instead, we are left with just another example of how people can break the law and get a pass because they have friends in high places.

It doesn't matter that Libby still had to pay a fine and will be on probation. The president had a tremendous opportunity to prove an important point to the American people, and he let it slip through his fingers.

But wait, folks, there is more.

In the aftermath of this, many of the current Democratic presidential candidates immediately criticized the president's decision.

One critic was Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York who said Libby's commutation was politically motivated to protect the White House.

Oh, really? Of course, Senator Clinton conveniently fails to mention that when her husband's presidential administration ended in January 2001, it ended amid a flurry of controversial pardons, including one of fugitive financier Marc Rich.

True, Mrs. Clinton wasn't the president and didn't make those decisions. However, her willingness to criticize President Bush while letting her husband off the hook is a display of a remarkable double standard.

Senator Clinton simply does not have the moral authority to criticize President Bush on this matter. In criticizing him, she is banking on the public's short memory span.

In other words, she wants to exploit what she perceives to be the dumbness of the American people. She believes we are too dumb to remember what happened way back in 2001.

And yes, there is even more.

Congress got into the act when Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, announced plans to hold hearings to look into the commutation of Libby's sentence.

Rep. Conyers is a long-time member of the House. Was Conyers clamoring for hearings back in 2001 when Clinton signed his controversial pardons? Not that I am aware of.

But now, he is leading the charge to get to the bottom of the Libby mess. Political opportunism does not get more obvious than this, and he is counting on what he believes is the stupidity of the American public to not recognize this.

Apparently, this fellow thinks we are dumb as trees and will not recognize his transparent motives.

The bottom line is many politicians underestimate us. Maybe they are right to do so.

After all, we put up with an awful lot of nonsense in Washington but will not lift a finger to combat it.

Voters have a chance to make a lot of noise in 2008. Let's hope we do so.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The president's decision reminds me a lot of when President Ford pardoned Richard Nixon. Not quite the same thing but pretty close.