Bush decision on Libby rallies loyalists

Most of America may be shocked and dismayed by President George W. Bush’s decision to commute the prison sentence of convicted White House aide Lewis “Scooter” Libby but the rabid right wing of the Republican Party, the staunch minority of Presidential loyalists, are cheering the President as loudly as they can.

The unfettered glee from the ultra-conservatives is a rare show of support for Bush. The rabid right has never fully trusted Bush and his decision on Libby has put some life into the GOP’s dwindling base.

These are the loyalists who put partisanship above all else and allegiance to the party ahead of the law or America.

And they are happy.

Writes Janet Hook of The Los Angeles Times:

With his decision to keep I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby from going to prison, President Bush has provoked a firestorm of controversy but avoided what might have been even more damaging to his presidency: defections of Republican loyalists who are among the last to support the beleaguered White House.

Libby’s fate had become a cause celebre among conservative GOP activists, even as the public overwhelmingly opposed a presidential pardon.

Bush’s action shows that, with a little more than 18 months remaining in his second term and his influence at its lowest ebb, he is still willing to rely on his signature leadership style — one that risks polarizing the country to take stands that satisfy his conservative base.

After the Republican rout in the 2006 midterm elections, Bush gave signs that he might try a more pragmatic, centrist approach. But his main attempt to do so — backing a bipartisan bill to overhaul immigration law — ended in a spectacular failure when the bill died in the Senate last week. And the immigration debate had badly strained Bush’s relationship with conservatives, who were furious that he supported a bill they believed would allow amnesty for illegal immigrants.

“He’s playing to his base,” said Fred I. Greenstein, a political scientist at Princeton University. “He’s sort of retreating to his hard disk — his core beliefs.”

A CNN poll found that 72% opposed a presidential pardon, and 19% supported it. But many analysts say that Bush had little to lose and much to gain politically by siding with the minority view. Bush chose to commute Libby’s 30-month jail sentence, but did not pardon him.

“He won’t antagonize anyone who didn’t already hate him, and he will give solace and encouragement to the people who like him but are having doubts about his resolve,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster.

Among the encouraged was Eddie Mahe, a former Republican National Committee official, who said, “I shot my fist in the sky and said, “Yay!’ “


  1. SEAL

    I see it as the end justifies the means. Our cause is righeous, therefore, it makes no difference that they lied about WMD, etc., etc., etc. And Bush continues to veto anything that has to do with reproduction to hold thier support.

    The most amazing thing to me is that almost one-third of our nation are religious zealots enough to continue to support Bush no matter what. That is the scary part.

  2. shonen

    And here I thought he was a uniter, not a divider. Silly me, wherever did that idea come from?

  3. LurkingFromTheLeft

    …No Gene –

    …you have it wrong 😉

    …WE are the criminally insane ones –

    …THEY know what they are doing – we are wrong for not seeing that –


  4. JudyB

    LFTL…you have it wrong pal…most all of us recognize that the criminally insane are running (ruining) this country but we have lost our voices in how this nation is run. If asked to paint a picture of how most of America sees itself, I’d have to paint multitudes of people, gagged with their arms tied behind their backs listening to GWB spew his never ending bullsh–.

  5. LurkingFromTheLeft

    Oops –

    …I always forget which key to use on CHB to denote sarcasm –

    …thanks for letting me know I am not insane –

    …that it is Bushie and his ilk that are the nucking fut jobs –


  6. mary cali


    Shows what a committed and passionate minority can do, while the majority is apathetic and inattentive.

    The diehard cons have never been more than 30% + or -. However, they are relentless about persuing their “goals” to the extent of whitewashing wrong doing amongst their own. When confronted with wrong doing amongst their membership, they will often say well some “liberal” did such and such wrong. Frequently the “liberal” is a Clinton. Seldom do they acknowledge that one of them did something wrong.

    It is similar to a cult where the members are held together by propaganda and unquestioning allegience to their gurus. This is how coups occur and it looks like the US has had a bloodless coup over the past 20 + years.

  7. www.nazilieskill.us

    Blind loyalty is a weakness. I hope it becomes a weak point so that we can get rid of them.

    John Hanks, Laramie, Wyoming

  8. mary cali


    Regarding the cult, I did not mean that the entire USA is like a cult only the extreme rightwing who
    view everything through the prism of their cult like ideology. They are fiercely loyal to their gurus and their ideology despite reality. That has the delusional quality of a cult.

    The majority of the country goes about its business, paying very little attention to politics and civic life. Many of majority don’t even vote. That is why the minority can take control and has. They are passionately committed to the promotion of their “cult” and can be ruthless in persuing their objectives.

  9. gene

    Sorry Mary…kind of didn’t mean to imply (USA a cult) but your last comment above is surely more truthful than I would desire. In other words….YOU ARE DAM RIGHT!!!! Cheers.