From the Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace:
—On the Failure of the Immigration Bill—
WALLACE: So where do you assess blame?
BILL KRISTOL: I’m happy to point fingers at everyone, but I would point fingers at the drafters of the bill. The more this bill was debated, the less able people were to defend it substantively.
And I say this as someone who was sort of well disposed in principle to this bill. Every time you read a serious exchange between a criticism of the bill and then the defense of it, the critics almost every time had the better of it. . . .
It was the Republicans who ended up . . . voting against cloture and opposing the bill. But that was not, I don’t think — a nativist uprising, a xenophobic uprising, would not have been enough. There were so many weaknesses in the way the bill was drafted, and they cobbled it together. Then they said take it or leave it.
And the idea that we’re going to have a temporary worker program where people come for two years, and they’re expected to leave for another year before they can come back for two more years — they’re not going to leave. So you’re just recreating the problem of illegal immigrants through this bill.
—On Scooter Libby—
KRISTOL: I think [the president] will not let Scooter Libby go to jail. He may not pardon him. He may commute the sentence, the prison sentence — in other words, say no prison sentence, but let Libby pay the $250,000 fine that Judge Walton imposed and therefore not overturn the actual verdict.
That way, he can say, “Look, a jury found that he made false statements. I’m not going to challenge that. But this man does not deserve to go to jail. The official recommendation was for a much shorter sentence. Judge Walton for some reason went for the maximum sentence. That’s not right. And therefore, I’m going to remove the prison sentence, commute the prison sentence but maybe let the fine go ahead.”
I would prefer a clean pardon. If I had to make a prediction, I’d say maybe he’d commute the prison sentence. . . .
BRIT HUME: Under normal circumstances, normal prosecutorial situation, not an independent or a special prosecutor, I doubt this case would have been brought, simply because it was a crime that occurred after the investigation began, and an investigation which, by the way, never did establish the underlying crime that the special prosecutor was appointed to investigate in the first place.
So in my mind, that probably qualifies it for a pardon, and on the merits. And the other thing is, of course, as Bill was suggesting, the judge seemed determined to throw the book at the guy, which always raises a question of whether there was justice in the sentence as well.