LIBBY AND ’08….Chances are, by October 2008, the name Scooter Libby will probably not be leading the evening newscasts’ coverage of the campaign. But in the meantime, I think Bush’s commutation should hang around the neck of every GOP presidential hopeful. The president has not only tarnished the White House with his conduct, he’s put his party’s possible successors in an awkward position: they’re now supposed to defend — even applaud — Bush’s scandalous conduct.

Perhaps, then, we can start drawing up a list of questions reporters can and should ask the GOP field:

  • Would you, as president, routinely overturn criminal sentences for unrepentant convicted felons before they serve time behind bars?

  • If obstruction of justice and perjury are not serious crimes deserving of serious punishment, what other felonies are you inclined to disregard?

  • If there are two systems of justice — one for politically-connected Republicans, and one for everyone else — how will you decide who makes the cut?

Feel free to add your own.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.