“Pardon” Is So Low Energy–Let’s Go Full “Indemnity And Oblivion”

Remember the Indemnity and Oblivion Act of 1660, aka “An Act of Free and General Pardon, Indemnity, and Oblivion”?  Well, let’s dig it out.  You want “beleaguered”?  They had it in spades.  Just watch yourself and don’t commit murder, piracy, buggery, rape, or witchcraft, or else you might not be granted oblivion after all.  Our presidential hemming and hawing over pardon is so weak and low energy compared to what the English Parliament did after their Civil War.

Speaking of spades, I am waiting for Jared Kushner to come up with a more poetic defense of himself than the tedious boilerplate we got today.  Let Jared take a page from Flann O’Brien’s Third Policeman.  Page 1, in particular: in sum, sure I killed old Phillip Mathers by smashing his jaw with a spade, but it was Divney’s fault.  He knocked Mathers down first with a bicycle pump.  And Divney was “personally responsible for the whole idea in the first place.  It was he who told me to bring my spade.”  I never bothered to read the subject line in his emails.  Or words to that effect.

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Excuse Me, I Am Not A Colluder. Pardon Me, Could You Say That Louder?

The president has declared that he has “complete power to pardon,” which may be almost true in a narrow legal sense (asserting power to judge his own case is dubious).  He may yet pardon his son, son-in-law, and who knows who else.  He may be able to remove Robert Mueller, and that would be a major crisis if Congress did not respond forcefully.  But the larger issue for a democratic republic in which consent of the governed is inalienable is this: what’s our next move as citizens?   We who are citizens and voters have the final power to grant reprieves and pardons in the larger sense.  Some of us, perhaps clinging to a confirmation bias, believe the president is trying to make things better, if only it weren’t for the swamp-dweller lobbyists/Democrats/leftists/snowflake slackers/deep state.  Some of us, that is, are not yet ready to let go of our pleasant fantasy of victimhood, even when our political party controls the presidency, the House and Senate, and the highest court.  Others of us, suffering from unpacified forgetting, are still fighting over the 2016 Democratic primaries.  My hope is that most of us, who are hoping above all that the government will be focused on serving, protecting, and increasing opportunities for as many Americans as possible, will bother to let our representatives know how we feel, and then vote at every opportunity to renew and refresh our government, showing no reprieve and no pardon for those who have unrepentantly abused the public trust.