Now that Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been found guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice, it’s unclear if he’ll be sentenced to prison. But one punishment for Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff has already been determined: he will be stripped of his nickname.
Bill "Moose" Skowron, current president of the Nickname Association of America, made it official yesterday by formally rescinding Mr. Libby’s sobriquet. As the former Yankees first baseman explained at a hastily convened press conference:
"We here at the NAA are deeply saddened by the actions of one of our members, Mr. I. Lewis Libby. Due to his recent criminal conviction, we had no choice but to rescind his nickname and seek a permanent injunction against him."
While many are applauding Mr. Skowron’s announcement, others wish something had been done sooner.
"Too little, too late," said Phil "Scooter" Rizzutto. "The damage has already been done."
When asked to elaborate, the former Yankee broadcaster and Hall of Fame shortstop said: "Holy cow! What good is my nickname now? That huckleberry Libby has tarnished it forever. Unbelievable! It’s like my old pal "Tricky Dick" Stewart. After that Nixon clown messed up, he was ashamed to use his nickname and spent the rest of his days known only as "Dick."
"With a nickname comes a certain responsibility," said Ed "Too Tall" Jones. "You can’t be selfish; you have to think of the others who also bear your moniker."
The former Dallas Cowboy said that a nickname holder’s actions can be devastating for like-named individuals. "Just look at the case of Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme who tried to shoot President Ford," said Mr. Jones. "You wouldn’t know it today but before she pulled the trigger, there were dozens of "Squeakys" out there. Now it would be easier to find someone named Adolph or Judas."
Mr. Rizzutto concurred. "I’m glad that the NAA has taken action. I just wish they’d done it back when that Libby guy was indicted. Now it’s too late. Maybe if he gets pardoned or awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the name "Scooter" can still be salvaged. But even then, I can’t see myself using it anymore."
Mr. Skowron took his membership’s concerns to heart and vowed to take stronger and swifter action in the future. "Maybe we should have acted sooner and changed Libby’s alias to "Scapegoat" or "Fall Guy" last year. Whatever course of action we choose, however, we can’t allow our precious national heritage of nicknames to be put at risk. Where would we be without our Tigers, our Rockys and our Arnies?"
As for Mr. Libby’s particular situation, Mr. Skowron had these final thoughts:
"I hope this is the end of the matter. I’d hate to see this turn into some kind of Scootergate. After all, it would be a shame if this incident snowballed and put other great nicknames like "Turd Blossom", "Darth Vader" and "Dubya" at risk."