I really don’t care that this guy in particular was pardoned, as I have no compelling opinion on whether or not he deserved one. He seems to have accidentally killed the bald eagles, but it also seems that for someone whose got “hunting heritage” in his family, he should’ve known what poisons were banned.
To me, the issue illuminated George W. Bush’s priorities. This is a man who ignored dozens of pleas from Texas death-row inmates asking for their sentences to be commuted. This is a man who, in his final weeks in office, is reversing federal rules that protect people from pollutants. This is a man who, at least in name, is presiding over an economic catastrophe and two awful wars. Meanwhile, thousands of Americans have had their lives destroyed by ridiculous mandatory sentences for drug-related crimes; Bush isn’t pardoning them.
Bush is generally seen as doing next-to-nothing to salvage his trainwreck of a Presidency in its waning days. But he’s bothered to find the time and courage to pardon a guy who killed a couple of eagles. He’ll probably erect a room in his presidential museum as a shrine to his mercifulness.