A Little Perspective on the Charges Against Libby

Despite Patrick Fitzgerald's repeated explanations as to why the charges against Scooter Libby constitute "a very, very serious crime," the GOP spin machine is out in full force, desperately trying to downplay the matter as "trivial," "a technicality" and of course "the criminalization of politics."

So I thought a little perspective might be in order:

Libby is charged with two counts of perjury, two counts of making false statements, and one count of obstruction of justice. Obstruction of justice carries a ten-year maximum penalty, while the perjury and false statement charges each carry a five-year max.

That means if Libby is convicted on all charges and given the maximum sentence, he would be facing 30 years in prison.

By comparison, according to the latest United States Sentencing Commission guidelines, second-degree murder, kidnapping and demanding ransom, and hijacking an airplane all carry a maximum base sentence of less than 25 years. Hell, criminal sexual abuse will only get you 8-10 years.

Let's review: hijacking a plane or second degree murder will get you 24 and a half years max. What Scooter did can get you 30.

Does that sound trivial to you?

Perhaps Sen. Kay "Technicality" Bailey Hutchison would like permission to "revise and extend" her remarks.