*Crossposted from "Chuck for..." because I still haven't caught up with much of anything - see over there for why*
Ron covered this, I'm a bit more blunt about how much this sucks in this country, maybe in some 3rd rate 3rd world dictatorship it would be unremarkable, but this is the USA - supposedly.
If you were taking the Pledge of Allegiance seriously, maybe you should re-think. Reflect on your station in life, are you a big political player or maybe rich? If you belong to a political party that makes a big deal out of law and order, and personal responsibility it's OK to perjure yourself and obstruct justice as long as you're a part of a corrupt secretive administration. You see, what counts is who your friends are and who you work for.
Five hours after the appeals court refused to intervene in Scooter's case, the President did, George II said 2 1/2 years was too severe. That Republican prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said, "It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals." For the critics of the sentencing and even prosecution it is worth pointing out that darn near everybody professionally involved - prosecution, judge, appeals were Republican appointees and they agreed he should go to jail. But... Scooter has friends.
I suggest that my readers do not try this course, you are neither important enough nor well connected enough to stay out of jail. Now Scooter will have to pay his fines and do his probation and his reputation is "ruined." The "s are deliberate and meaningful, because his reputation is just exactly as good as the rest of his cohorts and now proven so. Politicians sometimes exaggerate their capabilities but they seldom engage in outright lies and this bunch seldom seems to avoid them.
I'll bet that if you paid any attention to the Paris Hilton junk, the one thing that struck you was that a little rich girl actually got spanked and maybe in the run up to this commutation you thought this might hold. Not in this administration, connections are all, you make fortunes, save corporations, stay out of jail, ad nauseum if you're hooked up. Of course, wealth, power, and connections have always been valuable and of great usefulness, but there was at least a pretense that the rest of us were in the game to some extent.
You had better understand that this is the natural outgrowth of "conservatism" as practised today. The "conservatives" will squeal, "not so," and try to make the point that this isn't conservatism while it actually is. It is the practice of unfettered greed with the government augmenting it while following practices that constrict working wages. It is called keeping the government out of the way, it's called "personal responsibility" (providing it only applies to the powerless), privatization of governmental services (providing you're hooked-up), the abdication of governance because it isn't important. If you follow each and every tenet of the Republican Party as enunciated over the past dozen years you will find its practice in effect today and of benefit to 0.1% of the population, the absolutely incredibly wealthy.
Republicans are wont to call these kinds of statements "class warfare," and they'd be right, what they miss is that they are the ones waging it.