I’m reliably informed that New Republic editor in chief Martin Peretz has, paradoxically, no influence over the work that The New Republic’s staff publishes in The New Republic. Thus, I strolled over to The Plank fully expecting to see some full-throated commentary on the commutation of Scooter Libby’s sentence, Peretz’ participation in the Scooter Libby defense fund notwithstanding.
Nor was I disappointed. Yesterday, Alex Massie offered the view that “Regardless of whether or not one thinks it wrong (or proper!) that Bush commuted Scooter Libby’s sentence, it seems politically smart to me.” Noam Scheiber took a different view, arguing that “commuting the sentence strikes me as the worst of both worlds.” A fascinating discussion! Did the president spare a wrongfully convicted, wrongfully prosecuted man from hard time he didn’t deserve? Did the president abuse his pardon power to help further the obstruction of justice? Nobody cares!
UPDATE II: Here’s the kind of thing I was hoping to see.