OK, so I don't really know what President Bush is thinking. It was only 10 days ago that I said it would be a long time before he made a decision on I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby because I believed, no matter the pressure, he didn't want to make one at all. Ha!

Bush released a tortured statement about how perjuring is wrong after all, and how Libby will and must pay his price for lying, but he still went over the head of his own appointed judge and removed a 30-month sentence to prison that loomed for the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. I find it rich that the news broke on the night when Bill Clinton was making his debut on the '08 trail, not to raise money, but to raise the votes for his wife who stood by him when he was impeached for lying under oath. I find it poignant that it was the same day the Washington Post wrote at length about Bush's secret consultations with historians about his legacy, intimate sessions in which he has asked people why the world hates America and why everybody hates him. Last week, of course, the paper wrote at far greater length about Cheney and how many levers of government he has wrapped his hands around since 2000. It was, to quote the universal response, "breathtaking." We learned more about how tightly Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has worked within Cheney's secret circle to carry out his plans and therefore that it is not just Bush's loyalty to his buddy from Texas that is keeping Gonzales's job safe and secure at the Department of Justice. It was fitting that just days after the death of immigration reform conservatives can now bask in relief that Libby — Cheney's man — has been spared jail time.

After reading today about Bush's thoughtful ruminations over his tenure in the White  House it is hard to imagine how a decision like this rests on his shoulders. Bush wages war in Iraq and pushed so hard on immigration on principle, despite angry outcry. According to the Post's account of his conversations, being resolute keeps him calm. But I wonder what mix of pressure and principle brought him to the Libby decision, and whether he feels resolute or calm about it, beyond a reasonable doubt.