As President Carter predicted, even the joyous reactions from those included in his pardon of Vietnam draft evaders appeared to be tempered with reservations about the groups it excluded.
Reaction in the first few hours after the announcement ranged mostly from disappointment that the pardon did not apply to military deserters to outrage on the part of conservatives that it includes anybody.
The pattern of comments on Capitol Hill indicated that there is still a chance - although a slim one - that Senate conservatives may continue to push for a scheduled vote Monday to limit debate on a "sense of the Senate" resolution opposing a blanket pardon.
Democratic leaders maneuvered all week to keep the resolution from coming to a vote before Carter had a chance to outline details of his pardon.
Observers feel there is little chance now that the conservatives could get the 60 votes needed to cut off debate.
The Senate voted 50 to 41 Wednesday to proceed with debate on the resolution, indicating substantial opposition to or reservations about the pardon. A large number of votes to cut off debate would be another indication of the Senate independence from the White House.
A Republican National Committee spokesman called Carter's pardon a "slap in the face to all those Americans and their families who did their duty," and said it could "only increase the bitterness between those who served and those who ran away."
The National Council for Universal and Unconditional Amnesty said through a spokeswoman that its reaction was "one of joy, one of consternation, one of sorrow and one of confusion."
There is "tremend us shock and disappointment over the fact that deserters and those with bad-conduct discharges are being left out," said Irma Zigas. And she said the group is confused over whether, despite Carter's stated intention for the pardon to take effect immediately, those in exile trying to return might not be stopped at the border because their names are still in the national criminal information computer.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) praised Carter for taking a "major, impressive and compassionate step towards healing the wounds of Vietnam."
Sen. George McGovern (D-S.D.) said the pardon was a "compassionate and courageious first step," but that Carter should have extended it beyond draft resisters.
Former President Ford, in Monterey, Calif., for a golf tournament, refused to comment on the pardon.
Reaction of conservative and veterans' groups was, in some cases, furious.
"This is probably one of the saddest days in the history of our country, even surprassing the Watergate days," said T. Cooper Holt, executive director of the Washington office of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Michael Schlee, director of the American Legion's National Security Commission, said the legion "deeply regrets and protests" the pardon. "We believe this action - rather than providing the desired healing effect - will, instead, prove divisive," he said.
The American Veterans Committee, an organization of 25,000 veterans founded during World War II as an alternative to the VFW and the American Legion, said it welcomed Carter's pardon as "another step towards healing the nation's wounds from the Vietnam war."
But a spokeswoman said AVC was deeply disappointed that it did not include deserters and "the hundreds of thousands of veterans who received less-than-honorable discharges" who come "in disproportionate numbers from minority and less advantaged groups in our society."
Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.) called the pardon "the most disgraceful thing that a President has ever done." It will "utterly destroy the effectiveness of any draft should we feel the need to go back to a selective service . . .," he said.
"I'm disgusted with it," said Sen. Jake Garn (R-Utah). "First day in office as President and he pardons people who were disloyal to their country, who were not willing to serve it."
Rep. G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery (D-Miss.), who heads the House Select Committee on Persons Missing in Southeast Asia, said he was "very disappointed" because he hoped Carter would compromise and consider draft evaders on a case-by-case basis.
In Paris, a spokesman for a goup of Americans who fled to France to avoid fighting said the pardon was limited but still represents "a positive step forward."
"It just applies to university kids who dodged the draft, mostly white kids who had enough money to go to college," said Tom Nagel of ZERO, which claims to speak for 1,800 American exiles in France.
"I think it follows class lines," said George Kazolias, a 23-year-old native of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., who fled to France from a U.S. Army unit in West Germany. "The wealthier resisters who had enough information to escape the draft got pardoned. The economically deprived couldn't escape it."
Some deserters and draft resisters living in Sweden gave a qualified welcome to the pardon. Most who spoke out said it was wrong not to treat them equally.
Comments from Stockholm ranged from the "it's more than I expected . . . It is a very positive step" of Don McDonough, 33, of Boston, who deserted in 1968, to Bob Janson's "it's the most hideous thing I've ever heard - a blanket amnesty for draft evaders and nothing for deserters."
Janson, 28, is from Massachusetts and deserted four years ago. The U.S. embassy in Sweden estimates that there are 150 to 200 deserters and draft evaders there. But the Swedish Immigration Board places the number at up to 400, down from its 1970-71 peak of about 700.
In Toronto, the pardon brought anger from deserters.
"It's the cheapest political trick in the book to have another study on the problem" of deserters, said Jack Colhoun, a 31-year-old deserter and Minneapolis native who has lived in Canada for more than six years. He is a leading spokesman for the 20,000 Vietnam-era exiles living in Canada.
"The study is nothing but toilet paper until it happens," said Steve Grossman of AMEX, a magazine for American draft resisters and deserters published in Canada. "Our deserters are going to say it's outrageous - that I'm no different that draft resisters," he said.