It's very giggle-worthy that the man conservatives detest as the most immoral slimeball in the history of civilization is also the standard for acceptable behavior by the administration.
"Clinton was the worst President ever! He's an embarrassment! But if he did something, then it's OK for Bush to do something superficially similar but more evil."
Far stranger is the argument that Libby's conviction for obstruction of justice is somehow null and void if the investigation he obstructed does not result in any charges being filed. That just makes no sense at all. Does that mean that if one successfully obstructs an investigation so that no charges can be brought, one is automatically given a free pass for the obstruction, sort of as a reward for doing a good job of obstructing?
But for classic Bush II mendacity, the winner has to be the commutation itself. By not issuing a pardon and explicitly endorsing the jury verdict, Bush/Cheney has admitted that Libby was guilty of running interference in the Fitzpatrick investigation. Then they commute *only* the jail time, leaving the fine and probation alone. (Although the judge now says that the probation is unenforceable if Libby doesn't serve time.) The fig leaf offered, that the jail time is "excessive," is blatantly fiction -- it's consistent with sentencing guidelines, and Tony Snow has indicated that *any* jail time would be unacceptable, implying that Bush feels jail is wholly inappropriate for obstruction of justice (which is a rather breathtaking proposition). The fact that the commutation was issued *before* the appeal even was heard reveals that Bush's main worry was keeping Libby out of jail *at all costs*, not some phony concern over the "severity" of the sentence.
It's crystal-clear that this is a quid-pro-quo. Libby stays quiet, Bush and Cheney keep him out of jail.
And they don't care who knows it.
Our Republican governor, on the other hand, pardoned what seemed like most of his administration before the investigation (into hiring policy violations) even finished, after running on a "clean house" agenda. And then he won the nomination for re-election. Washington is still amateur hour compared to Kentucky corruption.