Hola! Your hombre-in-chief Angry New Mexican is here again. My (incredibly lazy) friend Angry Overeducated Catholic spotted this article, and he could not refrain from commenting on it. Of course, he couldn’t be bothered to post it, leaving me once again with this duty.
Angry Overeducated Catholic
Scenario in a nutshell:
Activist outraged at Bush Administration’s plan to auction oil leases on Federal lands. Participates in auction under false pretenses, buys leases, defaults, delays transfer of rights, calls attention to auctions. Leads to media scrutiny of auctions, Federal court injunctions against some auctions, and the Obama Administration’s rapid removal of most of the proffered leases. Activist now faces court, possible Federal prison time for his actions.
Reasons why this is a non-problem:
A. If the court decides that his necessity defense is valid, he’ll be acquitted. This is very unlikely, but possible in this case due to the various problems with the auctions. If this happens, then the courts have spoken and the guy’s “fraud” was actually legal citizen action to prevent a government harm. As a believer in the evils of government I would applaud, even if the guy is a dirty, dirty hippy.
B. If he’s found guilty then the courts decided that either the harm involved was not great enough to warrant his actions (quite possible since the government might well have rescinded the oil rights before any drilling began) or that his actions were inappropriate even given the harm (he could have called attention to the auctions in many other ways). In either case, the court would be ruling that he exceeded any responsible claim to have acted in the public good (aka he’s a dirty, dirty hippy and acted as such). In this case, given the outcome, this is perfect Presidential pardon bait. Indeed, one could argue this is the very reason for the pardon: to pardon folks who are actually guilty of the crime, and guilty of a real crime, but who have such unusual circumstances surrounding their case that the President decides the national good warrants their release. Since this case (dirty hippy uses dirty hippy tactics—which all right-thinkiing folks agree should be illegal—to prevent an ill-advised and later reversed government action) is exactly such a case, nobody’s going to hate on Obama for the pardon.*
Either way, no huge social problem here, just actual justice in the justice system. Which I guess is surprising, and therefore news, but not really a major problem.
*Okay, realistically folks like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh will hate on Obama for this…perhaps I should have said that nobody will hate on Obama for the pardon who wouldn’t already be hating on him for some other random action he’s done.