Wait, who is responsible in Tacoma?

If you read many of the conservative national blogs, or even a few local ones, you'd think that Mike Huckabee pulled the trigger in a coffee shop in Washington.

But he didn't. A sick, brutal thug did. The only person responsible for the murder of four police officers is the man who actually shot them. Period.

Yes, Mike Huckabee approved clemency for the suspect, Maurice Clemmons, in 2000. Clemmons had been sentenced in 1990 for a series of burglaries and robberies. The details are tough to pin down, but it seems that his original sentence was several decades long. Then-governor Huckabee made him eligible for parole and ultimately it was granted.

Hindsight being 20/20 it was rather obviously a bad decision. Huckabee may well have had a very lenient policy for granting clemency and pardons, but he is not responsible for Clemmons' actions. If one is to look at all the facts around Clemmons and his history of crime, it is a failure of the entire justice system in two states, not that of Mike Huckabee. Still, the justice system is not at responsible for the police officers' murders: only Clemmons is.

It bothers me when conservatives who talk constantly about the importance of personal responsibility want to make a politician they don't particularly care for responsible for the actions of a felon. It amazes me how quickly some people can make something political. Four police officers are dead - killed in cold blood, and their killer is still at large. Let's keep our eye on the ball, the goal is catching, prosecuting and putting this guy away for the rest of his life. Let's get that done first and fix whatever cracks in the justice system he slipped through once we know all the facts.