What George W. Bush Didn’t Do On January 20

Sometimes, it is significant that a dog does not bark.  In the case of  President George W. Bush, there is something noteworthy that he did not do much of in his last few days in office.  

Often, politicians use their last days to pardon a large number of people.  President Clinton, for example, pardoned 140 people on the last day of his presidency, and during his term he gave pardons or clemency to 456 people.  These pardons included quite a few Democratic politicians (for example, Mel Reynolds, Henry Cisneros, Dan Rostenkoswki), big-time Democratic donors like Marc Rich,  his brother-in-law Roger, and Susan McDougal, who had shared legal troubles with him.

President Bush, by contrast, was very cautious about issuing pardons throughout his two terms.  The Wikipedia article about his pardons reports that he pardoned 189 people, but all of them had served their entire prison term;  the effect of the pardon would be to clear their record or eliminate the collateral effects of their conviction, such as the right to vote or own a gun.  He also commuted the sentences of 11 people.  There did not seem to be a long list of people pardoned at the end of his term.

Of the 200 people pardoned or granted clemency by President Bush, only 5 are well known enough to rate their own Wikipedia article.  The best known is Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who received a commutation of his sentence in 2007, but never a full pardon.  The two border guards, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, had their sentences commuted.  (Most people didn’t think it fair that the border guards received a longer sentence than the illegal alien and drug smuggler that they shot.)  The last well-known person was rapper John Forté , who was convicted on drug charges.

Our ex-President is very unpopular right now, but it seems like when it came to pardons, he used his power wisely, and did not abuse his office to pardon political allies.  He also did not favor the rich and famous, but rather chose to pardon mostly small time criminals who had long ago served their sentences.  I hope that future presidents follow this example.


4 thoughts on “What George W. Bush Didn’t Do On January 20

  1. Speaking of George W. Bush:

    George W. Bush committed hate crimes of epic proportions and with the stench of terrorism (indicated in my blog).

    George W. Bush did in fact commit innumerable hate crimes.

    And I do solemnly swear by Almighty God that George W. Bush committed other hate crimes of epic proportions and with the stench of terrorism which I am not at liberty to mention.

    Many people know what Bush did.

    And many people will know what Bush did—even to the end of the world.

    Bush was absolute evil.

    Bush is now like a fugitive from justice.

    Bush is a psychological prisoner.

    Bush has a lot to worry about.

    Bush can technically be prosecuted for hate crimes at any time.

    In any case, Bush will go down in history in infamy.

    Submitted by Andrew Yu-Jen Wang
    B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
    Messiah College, Grantham, PA
    Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993

    I am not sure where I had read it before, but anyway, it is a linguistically excellent statement, and it goes kind of like this: “If only it were possible to ban invention that bottled up memory so it never got stale and faded.” Oh wait—off the top of my head—I think the quotation came from my Lower Merion High School yearbook.

  2. Andrew,

    Wow, what do they teach you in Christian colleges these days? And you have a B.S. Summa Cum Laude? I would have expected complete paragraphs, at least.

    Also, why should I care about your grades from 12-16 years ago? I bet the Unabomber had grades as good as yours, although your grades were undoubtedly better than Joe Biden’s.

    And what exactly is a “psychological prisoner?”

    Oh, BTW, if you are able to take such an oath about GWB, (and please remember the 3rd Commandment), then you would be at liberty to say what he did, exactly.

    Please, you can do better than this.

    And, oh, BTW, what do you think of the point of my post, which was that George W. Bush did not abuse his office to pardon his buddies, or pardon “celebrity criminals,” like several previous presidents have done?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s