I was at a party a few weeks ago. And at that party, I had a conversation like this:
Person: “The thing with Clinton is, I don’t care what you do, but don’t lie to me about it.”
Me: “But Bush has been lying pretty much non-stop since day one. His group even made up non-existent Texas rain to explain him falling off a bicycle. There’s nothing too big or too small for him to lie about!”
Person: “Yes, but not under oath.”
I had certainly seen this position, that somehow Clinton’s lies were more offensive than Bush’s because they were under oath, presented satirically, but not as reality, spoken to my own face. I was dumbfounded. How do you reply to that? How do you respond to the notion that sending American soldiers to die in a world-destabilizing war over a lie isn’t as bad as committing perjury over a blowjob?
The mettle of conservatives of this stripe is about to be tested once again. For some reason, almost two years after the fact, the liberal mainstream media is finally paying attention to the fact that a Bush staffer leaked the name of a covert CIA operative to the press as revenge. This is a felony. For all of you screaming about movie actors and pop stars giving “aid and comfort” to the enemy, how do you feel about exposing the identity of someone who was actually trying to stop the spread of WMDs, making her work useless, and endangering her life and the lives of her co-workers? And doing so just because you’re peeved with her husband?
Before, when it was just some unknown presumed nobody committing felonies, the story had no legs. But now there’s a name: Karl Rove, the disgusting parasite that is attached to the back of Bush’s neck.
Of course, it’s not the first time Rove’s name has been connected to this. It came up when Rove gave testimony a year ago to the grand jury investigating the matter. Presumably he denied his involvement to the grand jury, under oath.
The conservative bloggers and pundits are more than happy to do it for him. Karl Rove didn’t out Plame as a CIA agent. What’s the big deal about outing a CIA agent anyway? And it turns out Valerie Plame wasn’t an agent. And the fact that she was an agent was already common knowledge. As usual, the cognitive dissonance factory is working overtime.
The fact that Newsweek published the story is also a talking point the conservatives have latched onto. After all, isn’t this the same magazine that irresponsibly published the “Koran flushing” story that turned out to be false? Yes and no. It published the story, and the story was actually true.
Oddly quiet throughout all this is Robert Novak, the asshole who published the leak to begin with. Why he still has a job is beyond me. He continues to sit smug in his web, presumably giggling at all the trouble he’s caused.
Or has he? I mean, let’s face it. Does anyone really think any heads are going to roll? I’ll be surprised if anyone even gets a rap on the knuckles. We all know that BushCo is completely teflon. They have trained the media and the public to let them get away with whatever they want. Minor brouhahas come up, such as the previously mentioned Koran flushing incident, but while we all scream at each other about the abusive treatment of holy texts at Guantanamo, we ignore the abusive treatment of human beings at Guantanamo. While we squawk about a memo that demonstrates that Bush lied about the Iraq threat, soldiers and civilians die in the wake of that lie. Bush doesn’t need to stifle dissent; it doesn’t actually change anything.
So if you want to get furious at Rove and Novak and Bush, by all means, be their guest. Get mad, write blog entries, sing protest songs, whatever you want. Doesn’t bother them, because it’s not like anything’s going to happen as a result. I mean, come on, do you really think Rove’s gonna go down? Bush would sooner give up Jesus than Rove.