By Joe Simonson
In the wake of President Donald Trump’s pardon of conservative activist Dinesh D’Souza, a number of former staffers to Barack Obama mocked the move — subsequently forgetting their old boss was responsible for letting a convicted terrorist who murdered Americans walk the world freely.
Obama’s former speechwriter Jon Lovett tweeted and proclaimed that D’Souza “is an awful person,” and that “Today is a good reminder that there will be so much more unfairness before this is over. We’re not ready for that.”
D’Souza’s admitted behavior aside, the supposed awfulness of an individual’s character didn’t seem to stop Obama from commuting the sentence of Oscar López Rivera, leader of the terrorist Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña (FALN).
That group was responsible for more than 120 bombings in the United States, leading to the deaths of five people. Rivera proudly confessed to committing all the crimes he was indicted for and was subsequently sentenced to 55 years in prison.
Lopez’s incarceration has been a pet cause for Democrats over the years, with Bill Clinton offering a pardon during his second term — only to be subsequently rejected in an act of defiance.
No matter the rationale (it’s not like Rivera is the first terrorist darling of the left) behind Obama’s move, it was undeniably one of his most shameful acts as president. Characterizing Rivera walking free as mere “unfairness” doesn’t remotely describe the feelings of the families of those murdered by FALN, who can only see Obama’s actions as a tacit nod of approval.
Former adviser Dan Pfeiffer joined Lovett by saying Trump only commuted D’Souza to “own the libs.” Indeed, one can only hope that the purpose behind Obama’s mercy on Rivera was to ruffle the feathers of conservatives.
Another Obama speechwriter, Jon Favreau, highlighted that D’Souza “pleaded guilty to making illegal campaign contributions,” implying that his felon-status was just.
If Favreau wishes to get into the politics behind pardons, we certainly can. Lopez was not just a blood thirsty mad man, but someone who carried out his destruction for the purpose of turning Puerto Rico into an independent communist nation.
Here one can see some true contrasts: While D’Souza wished to elect candidates through illegal straw donations, Lopez believed in political change by terrorism and murder.
Perhaps if D’Souza detonated a pipe bomb at a local IRS branch, he’d be considered sexier by the left and garner more sympathy. After all, how is he any less of a freedom fighter?
There’s no doubt that D’Souza has been caught saying a variety of kooky and abhorrent things over his years as a right-wing activist. It would be wise for Trump’s critics not to conflate a pardon with an endorsement of those views.
After all, what would that say about Obama?
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