Clapping for Tinker Bell
Michael Barone is still working from last weeks talking points
This summer, one big story is replaced by another — the London bombings July 7, the speculation that Karl Rove illegally named a covert CIA agent, the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court, more London bombings last week. But beneath the hubbub, we can see the playing out of another, less reported story: the collapse of the attempts by liberal Democrats and their sympathizers in the mainstream media — The New York Times, etc., etc. — to delegitimize yet another Republican administration.
Now the unsupported charges that “Bush lied” about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq have been rekindled via criticism of Karl Rove. A key witness for the Democrats and mainstream media was former diplomat Joseph Wilson. Unfortunately for his advocates, he turned out to be a liar. A year after his famous article appeared in The New York Times in July 2003 accusing Bush of “twisting” intelligence, the Senate Intelligence Committee, in a bipartisan report, concluded that Wilson lied when he said his wife had nothing to do with his dispatch to Niger, and Chairman Pat Roberts said that his report bolstered rather than refuted the case that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq sought to buy uranium in Africa. So despite the continuing credulousness of much of the press, it appears inconceivable at this point that Karl Rove will be charged with violating the law prohibiting disclosure of the names of undercover agents. The case against Rove — ballyhooed by recent Time and Newsweek cover stories that paid little heed to the discrediting of Wilson — seems likely to end not with a bang but a whimper.
If that seems oddly out of touch, this seems positively delusional:
The bombings and attempted bombings in London have brought home to the American public that we face implacable enemies unwilling to be appeased by even the most emollient diplomacy. Yet, mainstream media coverage of Iraq has been mostly negative. But mainstream media no longer have a monopoly; Americans have other sources in talk radio, Fox News and the blogosphere. Bush’s presidency is still regarded as illegitimate by perhaps 20 percent of the electorate. But among the rest, the attempt to delegitimize him seems to be collapsing.
Um, yeah. Pick a poll, any poll.
…and these are from before Rove became last weeks cover boy.
Meanwhile ‘Fredo’ Limbaugh, who is as fact-challenged as his stoner bother, weighs in:
Before President Bush’s Supreme Court nomination of Judge John Roberts completely overshadows the misidentified Karl Rove scandal, I think we better take a second look at the twisted direction this sad story has taken.
As far as Karl Rove’s conduct in the Plame/Wilson affair, there is no scandal. He didn’t come close to committing a crime, nor even an ethical infraction.
He didn’t set out to expose a CIA operative, much less an undercover one. He was the recipient of a phone call in which he cautioned Time’s Matt Cooper not to be taken in by the politically driven Joe Wilson, whose operative wife, Valerie Plame, had played a great role in securing Wilson’s “fact-finding” trip to Niger.
Rove, who didn’t even mention Plame’s name, couldn’t have known she was an undercover CIA agent — because she wasn’t. He manifestly wasn’t motivated to expose her for the purpose of punishing Wilson — because “exposing” her non-covert status couldn’t possibly have damaged her.
But Rove did have a motive to share his information with Cooper: to warn him of the nepotistic connection between Plame and Wilson and to thus take Wilson’s claims with a grain of salt.
There’s more, but we quit reading when Limbaugh mentioned nepotism because we started giggling uncontrollably…