I think you’re right. The opponents of the administration placed their hopes on Joe Wilson’s allegations — that Karl Rove outed his secret-agent wife and harmed national security. Not one word of this is true. The media in recent days raised the bar even higher, with reports that the vice president was involved in some kind of conspiracy to destroy Wilson/Plame and cover-up lies about weapons of mass destruction. (I’ve never been able to connect all the dots of this “logic.”) The implication I get from the indictment is that she was not under-cover, and in any event no one has been charged with outing a spy. And as you say, there is no grand conspiracy to ruin Wilson/Plame (in fact, the White House appears to have been rather restrained), the vice president had nothing to do with revealing Plame’s name or position (despite heated, published rumors in the lead up to this indictment that he was the the behind-the-scenes guy), and I am convinced Rove won’t be indicted because he had absolutely no reason to intentionally lie about what he may have told reporters about Plame (indeed, the Cooper testimony/notes tell us that Cooper first raised it with Rove) and no reason to know that her employment status with the CIA was classified. The president’s adversaries had raised the criminal and corruption bar very high, and the indictment doesn’t deliver on their rhetoric. Most Americans don’t have the foggiest idea who Lewis Libby is. But they do know he’s not Karl Rove or Dick Cheney. Unless some hammer drops, I would think the worst is probably behind the White House.
With this mess mostly behind him (again, assuming nothing big is out there), Hurricane Katrina becoming a distant memory, and a new Supreme Court nomination that will rally the base, I think the president has turned the corner.