I need to see more than what’s out there to think this is anything like the big deal the press and the Democrats are making it out to be. I’m all in favor of having the Justice Department investigate. I’m all in favor of firing whoever did the leaking, if he or she did as the reports suggest. But it sounds like the leaker is dropping in rank and importance as is the transgression. Wilson’s wife is a desk jockey and much of the Washington cocktail circuit knew that already.
It seems to me that the energy driving this is A) Obvious Democratic opportunism and scandal-hunger B) Media opportunism as this is the first Bush “scandal” that isn’t manufactured outside the White House (could someone explain what Bush did wrong on Enron again?) C) A burning desire to flesh out a fleshless storyline that the Bush White House clamps down on “dissenters” D) An even more burning desire to make Karl Rove into the Sid Blumenthal of this administration.
Which brings us to another issue: comparisons between this administration and the last. First of all, Rove is not Blumenthal for several reasons but the most important is that Rove’s got real power. Blumenthal was a Tolkieneque Wormtongue at best and more likely a slipper-carrier. On the larger front, I will be able to take only so much sermonizing from liberals over this scandal considering the fact that the last White House knowingly filed false criminal charges against inconvenient employees (the Travel Office), invented new privileges and abused old ones to stonewall at ever turn (Bush is commanding full cooperating), and generally accused critics of every form of bad faith imaginable.
So yes, by all means investigate what I predict will be a very minor story. But let’s not pretend the Republic is in danger.