In what's a longer story than I have time to tell right now, in my "free time," I am helping to write scripts to record broadcasts about American culture and politics for broadcast on Congolese radio. (It's a really long story.) One of the points we are hitting over and over again is the importance of the rule of law to the American system. Rule of law is the idea that everyone, no matter how rich or powerful, is subject to the same laws, and can't just change the rules to suit themselves or their own ambitions. (It doesn't quite work that way here.) We're pointing out over and over again that if a policeman takes bribes, he'll be fired and sent to jail, or that if a government official breaks the law, he'll be removed from office and tried in a court. Everyone is treated the same.
So you can imagine what I thought when I woke up this morning to learn that my president apparently doesn't believe that those members of his administration who have been convicted of felonies ought to be subject to the same punishment as everyone else.
I am so appalled I barely know what to say. As Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, who prosecuted Scooter Libby, said, "It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals." Regardless of the nonsense that David Brooks is spewing this morning, this is a travesty. America is not supposed to work this way. We're supposed to have equal justice before the law. Bush's decision yesterday was, as the Post puts it, indefensible.