Patterico's Pontifications


Eric Holder Should Defend the Marc Rich Pardon?!?!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:12 pm

In an absurd op-ed in the New York Times, Seth Lipsky argues that Eric Holder should defend the Marc Rich pardon.

Lipsky’s op-ed never mentions the fact that Denise Rich made significant contributions to Hillary, as well as to Bill Clinton’s presidential library fund and other Democrat causes. Lipsky derides the use of RICO in the prosecution of the case, but never explains why an alleged overreach with RICO means that a tax evader shouldn’t be prosecuted for tax evasion. Rich was charged with evading $48 million in taxes; isn’t that worth prosecuting? Finally, Lipsky seems to find some significance in the fact that he “came to like” Rich in discussions with him about a possible interview. So what?

Lipsky spends a lot of time expounding on the fact that the pardon power is held by the President alone. Well, that may be true — but that doesn’t prevent the citizenry from questioning and criticizing an unwise and/or possibly corrupt use of that power. Lipsky also defends Clinton’s decision not to consult the U.S. Attorney in New York in assessing the pardon application, by saying that the DoJ shouldn’t get to be the judge of its own behavior. That’s a strawman. Nobody is saying that DoJ should have exclusive say over pardons — but DoJ obviously has useful input that should be taken into account. Failing to ask the local U.S. Attorney about a case is reckless.

How can someone expect to make a persuasive case when they fail to address the central arguments of the opposition? The bottom line is that Lipsky likes the pardon, so he’s willing to shunt aside the most compelling arguments against the pardon. And the New York Times, just as it did with Bill Ayers, is willing to allow him to ignore compelling counterarguments.

Remind me again why people consider this to be a great paper?

16 Responses to “Eric Holder Should Defend the Marc Rich Pardon?!?!”

  1. Wow $48 million. And yet they and others in the media will repeat the “he didn’t pay his taxes” meme about an obscure average-Joe plumber and savage the ever living F out of him for that.
    Has the NYT and other corporate media ever pulled the pants down of establishment Democratic power players and not purse their lips?

    Jack Klompus (b0e238)

  2. I don’t think anyone (other than the denizens of the Upper East Side salons) honestly consider the NYT to be anything but just another newspaper at this point. Outside of the WSJ, I’m not sure any paper is considered essential anymore, no matter your political and cultural leanings.

    Dmac (e30284)

  3. Hey, Jack: nuance.

    Joe the Plumber spoke out against the Cool Candidate.

    Marc Rich spoke out for Cool Candidates. True, one of them was very probably boffing his wife, but that is no big deal to evolved people with European sensitivities.

    Hence the differential in treatment. Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, to coin a phase. Like Joe Biden, I will claim that phrase for my own. The heck with Emerson, rich white guy.

    Probably stole the line from a multicultural pundit, anyway.

    Though, of course, yours and mine are small minds indeed, since I am equally outraged.

    If nothing else, Jack, it will be entertaining to watch the press defend Democrat “A” while at the same time excoriating Republican “B”—with both of them doing the same things!

    And the press is hurt that people think that the MSM has an agenda!

    Anyone notice the price of gasoline recently, by the way? Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

    Eric Blair (8f93a0)

  4. The print edition of the Sunday NYT actually has an article on the next page of Week in Review, by some “guy” standing in for Maureen Dowd, waxing hysterical over Joe the Plumber and whether he might write a book.

    nk (5a0e72)

  5. I read the op-ed, nk, with disbelief. Obviously the stand-in is one of those evolved people with European sensitivities.

    Joe, a k a Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, was no good as a citizen, having failed to pay his full share of taxes, no good as a plumber, not being fully credentialed, and not even any good as a faux American icon.

    Dana (79a78b)

  6. Seth Lipsky was the founder of the New York Sun, which was a pro-Israel newspaper. As his column states, the pardon of Marc Rich was supported by people from across the Israeli political spectrum. Reminds me of the push to get a pardon for Jonathan Pollard. But I suppose I am anti-Semitic for even suggesting this, right?

    Mark1971 (888585)

  7. Remind me again why people consider this to be a great paper?

    The New York Times has been America’s foremost newspaper for decades and I think it will long be remembered as the best of its kind, just like the Hindenburg and the Titanic.

    DRJ (b4db3a)

  8. The New York Times has been America’s foremost newspaper for decades and I think it will long be remembered as the best of its kind, just like the Hindenburg and the Titanic.

    +1,000,000,000….. Crash and burn, crash and burn, we can only dream….

    J. Raymond Wright (0440ef)

  9. I’m more upset with his invovlement with the commutation of the FALN members!

    Mossberg500 (9fd170)

  10. The NYT should be damn glad they have you for a friend, DRJ!

    Another Drew (b4fb11)

  11. Lipsky writes:
    If Mr. Obama fails to defend Mr. Holder and President Clinton, he will endanger the very power he is soon to inherit.

    Lipsky’s advice is for Obama to waste his political capital defending and rehashing Clinton’s Rich pardon.
    Why are Harvard graduates considered smart?

    Perfect Sense (9d1b08)

  12. Comment by Perfect Sense — 12/7/2008 @ 4:55 pm

    Because they constantly, ad nauseum, refer to themselves as “The Best & Brightest”.

    Another Drew (b4fb11)

  13. My own experience is that they preface almost everything they say with the preamble of attending Harvard. Frazier had a great running gag in making fun of the Kelsey Grammar character’s tendencies towards that behavior.

    Dmac (e30284)

  14. This just in – TribCo exploring bankruptcy options (they just posted this, btw):,0,2155085.story

    Dmac (e30284)

  15. Is there really such a shortage of talent in DC where Obama must take dregs of the Clinton era?

    Wesson (3ab0b8)

  16. For Lipsky, an ardent Zionist, every issue is filtered through the relationship with Israel. The constitutional argument advanced in his column is a smokescreen. The main point is that Marc Rich gave money to Jewish and Israeli causes, and many wealthy and influential friends of Israel spoke out on his behalf. Therefore, in Lipsky’s mind, the pardon must be justified. All the rest flows from that. The op-ed essay is “absurd,” truly, and not a little bizarre.

    Bud Harnett (4cafd6)

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