I received voluminous responses from you regarding my column on Scooter Libby. Most thought he deserved the pardon and that the prosecution was self-indulgent. Your words brought to mind the prosecution of my former president, and you all were more than happy to make this comparison for me.
David Challans writes:
First of all, a presidential pardon does not wipe the slate clean as you say. Second, Libby hasn’t done anything except cooperate and tell the truth. He was convicted for telling the truth. Bush will let this play out and go to appeal, then if it is overturned everyone gets to see the original conviction was bull.
SRE: We both agree that he probably wishes he’d lied the second time, too.
Ken from Texas writes:
Harry Reid and his ilk can relax; W. won’t go the pardon route on this one because he is too busy trying to placate the left.
SRE: Thanks for the chuckle although I can’t say I agree.
Frank Israel writes:
Ignoring, for the sake of argument, the merits or gravity of the alleged underlying offenses (neither of which, it turns out, was a crime), what is clear is that the same sauce is not being applied to both the goose and the gander.
As you should know better than most, perjury is perjury, whether one is being questioned about one's sex life or about alleged (but not real) matters of national security. Use a silk rope if you like, but if you are going to hang one you should also hang the other.
SRE: I’m happy to do that and think neither is a good use of our resources or time.
Regarding Giuliani’s parenting, most of you thought it was better to leave the children out of it...
Jane Malin writes:
I am somewhat surprised that anyone is focused on Rudy Giuliani's children's decision not to campaign. I am very sure that there are a large number of politicians’ children who don't want to be thrust into the limelight or are too busy with school to hit the campaign trail.
But because their parents were not involved in a nasty public divorce, no one pays any attention to their decision not to campaign.
His children have a long way to go before they can see their parents' split with any kind of perspective. They need to be left out of the discussion.
SRE: I agree. Thanks for your thoughtful e-mail.
Robert Kasper Jr. writes:
In answer to the question posed by the headline of the article, yes, it does matter whether or not he is a good or bad parent. It is a character issue. But dig much deeper into what constitutes a good parent.
The reality is that a life in politics is largely incompatible with good parenting in that one must give his or her life over to seeking office rather than raising children, at least in the current political environment.
SRE: The time and energy involved in running a campaign surely comes at the child’s expense. I was questioning the bitter divorce.
Peggy Nunez writes:
To answer the question posed in your column, I absolutely am not voting for Giuliani simply for the fact that I think he's abhorrent on a personal level.
I mean, I don't know him, but I did read the articles about his divorce. He was really mean, if not cruel, to his wife on what seemed every level. Cancer suffering or not, there is absolutely no reason to announce on television his separation before declaring such a thing to his wife personally.
It is also tasteless to make that announcement with your current girlfriend standing next to you, smiling. I can't vote a man like that into office.
SRE: Thank you for your thoughts; most of my mail reflects your thinking.
Susan Estrich is currently the Robert Kingsley Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California and a member of the Board of Contributors of USA Today. She writes the "Portia" column for American Lawyer Media and is a contributing editor of The Los Angeles Times. She was appointed by the president to serve on the National Holocaust Council and by the mayor of the City of Los Angeles to serve on that city's Ethics Commission.
A woman of firsts, she was the first woman president of the Harvard Law Review and the first woman to head a national presidential campaign (Dukakis). Estrich is committed to paving the way for women to assume positions of leadership.
Books by Estrich include "Real Rape," "Getting Away with Murder: How Politics is Destroying the Criminal Justice System" and "Dealing with Dangerous Offenders." Her book "Making the Case for Yourself: A Diet Book for Smart Women," is a departure from her other works, encouraging women to take care of themselves by engaging the mind to fight for a healthy body. Her latest book, The Los Angeles Times bestseller, "Sex & Power," takes an impassioned look at the division of power between men and women in the American workforce, proving that the idea of gender equality is still just an idea.