Focus Point - Pardoning ClintonCommentary by Pete du Pont
January 19, 2001
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Regarding the proposed Bush pardon of Bill Clinton for his many crimes in office, my initial reaction was heck, no. First, it's not Bush's business. Second, Clinton has been found guilty of perjury by a court.
That's guilty, guilty, guilty, as Doonesbury cartoonist Gary Trudeau once said about Richard Nixon.
But I'm rethinking.
Not because I think Clinton's innocent. Far from it.
Question: Is any jury in the country likely to convict Clinton on obstruction of justice and his other offenses? Not bloodly likely. So what happens? We're dragged through sleazy history for another eight months, then he walks. Again.
But let's say Bush pardons him.
Question: What does a pardon mean? It means you're guilty, but we've decided to spare the country a trial.
If you're a Clinton-hater, it's perfect. It's elegant. With the stroke of a pen, bush labels Clinton guilty for the ages, yet spares the country the sleaze.
So maybe you all should rethink the idea. Why not pardon him and send him on his way?
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you next time.