Paris Hilton 23...Scooter Libby 0
I never thought of it this way.
The world seemed to stop spinning as Paris Hilton went to jail, got sprung for a cup of coffee, then got put back into the jug amid debate about celebrity privilege and whether someone who's done a crime should do the time, no matter how rich and/or powerful.
Her situation dovetailed into the Scooter Libby commutation, covered to excess by the cable news webs but strangely ignored by Mary Hart and the "Entertainment Tonight" crew.
In the exchanges I've heard, those who think the Scoot got off light are immediately reminded by their conservative counterparts of one Bill Clinton, who seems to be the Pavlovian response any time G-O-P wrongdoing is brought up (just as Nixon was used as a "yeah, but..." by Democrats in the days before Slick Willie's ascension). They'll point out that Clinton also lied, that Clinton handed out FULL PARDONS like Halloween candy on his way out of the Oval Office. Not commuted sentences, but FREE RIDES, most if not all to buddies and the well-connected.
And people wonder why I don't like politics and politicians any more.
"Rule of law" gets bandied about by both sides in these situations, except when it's their ox being gored. They'll cry about unfair prosecution when it's their boy in the cross hairs, even though they'll defend the quality of the judicial system when its the opposition caught with it's leg in the legal bear trap. They'll bloviate about unfair decisions, even when those doing the judging and the sentencing are people chosen from the ranks of their own parties. Is it any wonder NOTHING gets done anymore in Washington, what with everyone on both sides wearing their partisan blinders so they can't see right from wrong, much less find their way to the compromises needed to fix the nation and do what's right for the most people, instead of endlessly sucking up to/energizing their bases?
The Chicago Tribune's Richard Kass has a great take on what went down with the Scoot--I like some parts, and disagree with others, but his opinion is nothing if not well thought out. Give it a read, and let me know what you thing at firstname.lastname@example.org.