Sunday, September 28, 2003

Still Not Getting It

Reynolds now says:

And I guess if it weren't for the palpable desperation on the part of people looking for a scandal with which to tar Bush -- reminiscent of numerous right-wing Clinton critics from about five or six years ago -- I might be more inclined to say "more" instead of "less."

Let me spell it out for you Glenn. This isn't about now-Solicitor General Ted Olson making shit up under the name "Poor, Nasty, Brutish, and Short" writing for a Scaife-funded right wing attack mag, or Gary Aldrich claiming the White House Christmas tree was decorated with crack pipes and dildos, or Dan Burton blowing up watermelons.

This is one SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL accusing TWO TOP WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS of committing rather serious felonies. If the allegations are true, it's also about a president who, at least knowing about this after the fact, kept these people around for months during a time of war. As Brad DeLong says:

Whether or not he knew about it beforehand, for two and a half months--ever since two senior White House officials called six reporters and got Robert Novak to take the bait in his July 14 column--George W. Bush has "condoned this type of White House activity." No heads have rolled. No sanctions have been applied. The White House's posture has one of hunkering down: that this is no big deal, that this will pass, that nothing internal has to change, and that this is a tempest in a teapot.

Whether or not George W. Bush knew beforehand, his reactions since July 14 put him well over the line of "condoning." We don't need to write, "If George Bush knew about or condoned..." We need instead to write, "Since George Bush condoned..."

UPDATE: Just wanted to add that not acting isn't simply condoning, it's also a crime.