Another Wanker

3 comments July 3rd, 2007at 11:55am Posted by Eli

I really do need to start waiting longer before handing out Wanker of The Day honors. ‘cuz, no offense to Billy Kristol, who is a most excellent wanker, but David Brooks just blows him away today. It’s not even close.

In retrospect, Plamegate was a farce in five acts. The first four were scabrous, disgraceful and absurd. Justice only reared its head at the end.

Ugh. I’m gagging already.

The drama opened, as these dark comedies are wont to do, with a strutting little peacock who went by the unimaginative name of Joe Wilson.

WTF is this even supposed to mean? Not only is Joseph Wilson a bad guy, but he has a BORING NAME! What a loser!

Mr. Wilson claimed that his wife had nothing to do with his trip to investigate Iraqi purchases in Niger, though that seems not to have been the case. He claimed his trip proved Iraq had made no such attempts, though his own report said nothing of the kind.

Nice sleight-of-hand there, Brooksie. The question is not whether Valerie “had nothing to do with” it, but whether she was the force behind it. She “had something to do with it” only insofar as she was the go-between between her husband and the CIA people who actually made the decision. Big whoop. As for what Wilson’s report “proved,” I’m sure it didn’t prove that Saddam never ever sought uranium, but that was never Wikson’s mission. He was sent solely to confirm the validity of the document that purported to show that Saddam attempted to purchase yellowcake from Niger, and he debunked it pretty conclusively as a total fraud. See how David Brooks demolishes the mighty straw army!

Act Two opened with a cast of thousands crowding the stage, filling the air with fevered vapors and gleeful rage. Perhaps you can remember those days, when the Plame story pretended to be about the outing of an undercover C.I.A. agent.

Umm… What? The Plame story is about the outing of a covert CIA agent, and your team is pretending it isn’t. Let me ask you a simple yes-or-no question: Did someone in (and by “someone in,” I mean “half of”) the Bush administration out an undercover CIA agent, and, oh by the way, out every single other undercover CIA agent at Brewster Jennings by association, as well as any informants and contacts they had cultivated? Does that really fall under the umbrella of good old-fashioned hardball politics?

By the start of Act Three, nobody cared about the outing of a C.I.A. agent.

Speak for yourself, you insufferably unctuous asshat.

Act Three was the perjury act, and attention shifted to the unlikely figure of Scooter Libby. As Joe Wilson was an absurd man with a plain name, Scooter Libby was a plain man with an absurd name.

Wow, I guess that was the payoff for that moronic swipe in the introduction. Masterfully done. I bow.

And the odder thing was that Libby was the only normal person in the asylum. People who knew him thought him discreet, honest and admirable. And yet the charges were brought and the storm clouds of idiocy gathered once more.

Well, first of all, lots of the people who know Scooter are criminals themselves. Second of all, his much-valued discretion is very, shall we say, selective. If you’re a loyal Bushie (or Bushie himself), Scooter’ll willingly perjure himself to cover up for you – but if you’re, say, an undercover CIA agent, you might as well be Paris Hilton or Britney Spears. And thirdly, by Brooks’s standard, I guess there’s no point in ever prosecuting serial killers who “seemed like such a nice young man,” right?

Republicans who’d worked themselves up into a spittle-spewing rage because Bill Clinton lied under oath were appalled that anybody would bother with poor Libby over lying under oath. Democrats who were outraged that Bill Clinton was hounded for something as trivial as perjury were furious that Scooter Libby might not be ruined for a crime as heinous as perjury. It was an orgy of shamelessness. The God of Self-Respect took sabbatical.

Ah, and here we reach the mandatory part of the program where Brooks burnishes his credentials as some sort of Reasonable Moderate. Both sides are equally in the wrong, you see. Because lying about a blow job and lying about outing a covert agent are EXACTLY THE SAME. Gotcha.

The trial and sentencing, Act Four, was, to be honest, somewhat anticlimactic. Fitzgerald, having lost all perspective, demanded Libby get a harsh sentence as punishment for crimes he had not been convicted of.

Again, more lies. Scooter was indeed sentenced for the crime he was convicted of, which was that of covering up the more serious underlying crime. That is why no-one was ever charged with it.

And finally, yesterday, came Act Five, and a paradox. Scooter Libby emerged as the least absurd character in the entire drama, and yet he was the one who committed a crime. President Bush entered the stage like a character from another world, a world in which things make sense.

Boy howdy, if ever you needed proof of just how out of touch with reality Brooks is, that last sentence should seal the deal. Hell, it might even be grounds for involuntary committal. And as for his paradox, well, I just don’t get it. Fortunately for Brooks, simply being absurd is not actually a crime, nor does lack of absurdity somehow preclude criminality. I guess Brooksie is unfamiliar with that whole “banality of evil” concept…

His decision to commute Libby’s sentence but not erase his conviction was exactly right. It punishes him for his perjury, but not for the phantasmagorical political farce that grew to surround him. It takes away his career, but not his family.

Oh, please. Scooter is not being punished at all, and he will go on to have a very lucrative career as a lobbyist or conservative think tank fellow.

Of course, the howlers howl. That is their assigned posture in this drama. They entered howling, they will leave howling and the only thing you can count on is their anger has been cynically manufactured from start to finish.

Methinks the David doth project too much. Having been firmly embedded in the liberal blogosphere for the entire Libby trial, I can assure you that absolutely none of our outrage is manufactured. That’s a Republican industry.

The farce is over. It has no significance. Nobody but Libby’s family will remember it in a few weeks time. Everyone else will have moved on to other fiascos, other poses, fresher manias.

I’m sure you and the rest of the Republican-media complex will do your best. And if there’s one area in which the Bush administration has proven itself highly skilled, it’s in generating new fiascoes to distract from old ones. So it’s entirely possible that we might forget all about Scooter Libby. But you’ll probably wish we hadn’t.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Cheney,Corruption/Cronyism,Libby/Plame,Media,Politics,Republicans,Wankers


  • 1. PoliShifter  |  July 3rd, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    It’s absolutely sickening how republicans, conservatives, so-called Independents too embarassed to call themselves Republicans are behaving.

    They keep trying to claim the Libby case was no bid deal. We’re dealing with treason and the outing of a CIA agent to which their reply is “Plame was a desk jockey”. Well if she was a desk jockey, then how was she powerful enough to get Joe Wilson sent to Niger in the first place?

    I heard the founder of world nut daily on Thom Hartmann today scream “why didn’t they go after Armitage, he admited he was the leaker!”

    Well the reason is because LIBBY OBSTRUCTED JUSTICE! Fitzgerald couldn’t get to Armitage, Cheney, or Bush because Libby acted as the firewall.

    Our conservative friends seem to forget that.

    The big question on my mind is what does Libby know that has Bush and Cheney jumping through hoops for him?

  • 2. Eli  |  July 3rd, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    I’m not even entirely sure that Libby has actually even tried to blackmail anyone. It may be just as much a matter of taking care of a loyal soldier.

    Besides, they don’t want to set a precedent where if you break the law on behalf of a Republican president, you might go to prison. Best to just nip that idea right in the bud.

  • 3. vacantwater  |  May 5th, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    magnificent wasn’t at his bellowed then did on me.

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