At the moment, the American liberal blogosphere is all a-twitter over a "Barron's" editorial that (allegedly) savages the Bush administration for its long-time illegal surveillance program. This is (supposed to be) a significant event, what with "Barron's" being about as Republican as you can get. Sadly, that editorial is not all it's cracked up to be.
While it certainly starts off well and says all the right things about inexcusable illegality, part way down, you suddenly realize that maybe they're not all that put out:
Willful disregard of a law is potentially an impeachable offense. It is at least as impeachable as having a sexual escapade under the Oval Office desk and lying about it later. The members of the House Judiciary Committee who staged the impeachment of President Clinton ought to be as outraged at this situation.
Yes, oh yes, they're saying all the right things! Then, suddenly, in the very next sentence:
They ought to investigate it, consider it carefully and report either a bill that would change the wiretap laws to suit the president or a bill of impeachment.
Oh. So as long as the laws are changed now, everything is cool and all is forgiven. Whew. What a relief. One would have thought, after all that harrumphing, that "Barron's" was actually upset with the idea of breaking the law. But they are a forgiving bunch, aren't they? Even retroactively.
I guess that's what they mean by "compassionate conservatism."