Saturday, August 18, 2007

While You're At It, Why Not Pardon Padilla?

Hey Dubya...

You've certainly shown me what 'compassionate conservatism' is all about. Now that you're the 'Commuter-of-Scooter', I think I finally get what you've been saying all along. You really do have a big, soft, wet, warm, squishy ol' heart in that manly, puffed-up chest of yours.

For the longest time, I thought you were just kidding us about that 'compassionate conservative' stuff you were so on about in the debates when you were first running for office. I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't believe you at first. I doubted your bona fides. In fact, I must confess that I doubted you at every turn. When, after your ascension to the Presidency, the 'compassionate conservative' talk seemed to turn off faster than Dead-Eye Dick's trigger-finger after a few brewskis, I began to despair of any real compassion coming from the direction of the White House. In vain I watched and waited, and hoped for a glimpse of that famously big heart of yours - the one that showed so much kindness and mercy when confronted with the awesome power of the death-penalty that you so reluctantly wielded in Texas as governor, when you showed such Christian compassion for your sister in Christ, Karla Faye....oh, wait - never mind.

Anyhow, these last 7 years I've been eagerly awaiting the real George W. Bush - the one my friends told me didn't exist. Oh, sure, I got a little preview when Terri Schiavo needed your help, and you were right there without a moment's hesitation - flying out in the middle of the night and signing special legislation to see that justice was done. And then, when Hurricane Katrina hit, and you dropped everything - right in the middle of your hard-earned vacation, no less - and rushed to the rescue of that unfortunate city, and....oh, wait - never mind.

And the way that you comforted and supported the grieving families of the soldiers that you sent off to die so very nobly, and went to each and every funeral, weeping right along with...oh, wait - never mind.

And the way that you're dedicated to making sure that the soldiers that come back, having given their limbs, their families, their sanity - everything that makes life worth living - have the best medical care, benefits, education, and support in picking up the pieces of their lives after returning to a country they no longer...oh, wait - never mind.

Anyhow, you get my point. I had almost given up hope for your 'compassionate conservatism'. I thought it was just empty rhetoric, designed to trick the unwitting into voting for you.

O, me of little faith.

And then, you showed me who you really are. How wrong I was. Why, when you commuted the sentence of Scooter Libby, that's what showed me the real you. You knew that he'd suffered enough. The annoyance, the disruption of his schedule, the nagging demands for truth. Having to give up several weeks' pay. The embarrassment. The irritation. The prolonged aggravation. And, like the compassionate conservative you are, you stepped up and made it all go away. You just waved that clemency wand and - poof! - two years' worth of justice - gone!

So it is with joyful anticipation that I await your next step - pardoning José Padilla! You've shown how understanding you can be. So, naturally, you'll be anxious to alleviate the suffering of this man who was held without a lawyer and tortured for 3 years before he got the trial he was entitled to under the Constitution, and then convicted of something entirely different than what he was ostensibly held for. Heck, you hold onto somebody long enough, you're bound to come up with something to hang on him! But don't let me keep you, sir. I know you've already got pen in hand, ready to make things right. That's how you roll.

If Padilla had a mind left, he'd probably really appreciate it!

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