After all, the ironies are delicious. Democrats are, by and large (but not to a man), gun grabbers, even though this is one issue upon which Webb has not allied himself with the looniest of the loony left. Jim Riley put it well over at Virginia Virtucon:
You managed to hang your Executive Assistant, Phillip Thompson, out to dry, landing him in jail for 28 hours, on his 45th birthday no less — away from his wife and two kids, because you didn’t keep track of where your loaded weapon was, ignoring the most basic gun safety rules. Thompson then reappeared in public in D.C. Superior Court in leg irons represented by a “fancy Virginia lawyer” who is so unfamiliar with the D.C. court house that he got Thompson lost on his way out. That doesn’t bode well for his skill in manuevering through the subtleties of the D.C. court. Meanwhile, you engage in the most blatant CYA anyone has seen in recent memory, failing to take responsibility for your own blatant stupidity.Actually, though, this provides a wonderful opportunity for some magnanimity: President Bush should immediately pardon Phillip Thompson.
Oh, sure: first, we should make sure that Thompson isn't some lunatic (well, no more of a lunatic than anyone who would work for Webb) who really intended harm. But if his offense was merely carrying out his employer's will, then a pardon should be forthcoming. And even though Webb wouldn't even acknowledge it was his gun, stating "I have never carried a gun in the Capitol complex, and I did not give the weapon to Phillip Thompson," it seems that he is simply lying.
Now, to be sure, there will be those among the Right who would love to see this played out, and the schadenfreude of the situation is compelling. However, this is one of those few opportunities which gives a President the opportunity to demonstrate --- without suffering self-inflicted wounds, a la the current contretemps over Attorney General Gonzales --- that he is bigger than his tormenters.
I therefore urge the President to ignore the fact that Jim Webb cannot own up to his own complicity in this affair. I urge him to ignore the fact that Jim Webb is a peurile child. I urge him to ignore the fact that Jim Webb has apparently left Thompson hanging out to dry.
Jim Webb has already demonstrated himself to be a sophomoric excuse for a Senator who, while he fits right in with the new Democrat Senate majority, has little to offer but bile and splenetic rantings. And while the people of Virginia and his own employees deserve better, there is little chance that they will get it.
So the President should not require that Webb act like a man and come, hat in hand, to the White House to plead Thompson's case, as a loyal employer would. He is clearly incapable of such dignity and grace.
It is a time for mercy. Pardon Phillip Thompson now!