Monday, July 11, 2005


He concludes:

Everybody in the room--and out of it--should review McClellan's exchange with the reporters to see how he and this White House do business. After what transpired, no reporter should take McClellan's word at face value (if they ever did). Moreover, the larger issue is not his--and Bush's--credibility, but the wrongdoing committed by a senior White House official and the apparent lack of a response from the White House. (And remember, Bob Novak's column outing Valerie Wilson as a CIA officer cited two unnamed senior Bush administration officials.) The White House is adopting a familiar media strategy: say nothing, don't fuel the story, wait for it to pass--and ignore the substance of the issue. Bush aides must be hoping that the media lose interest and are not provided any further reasons to headline this story. They are probably also hoping that the Democrats fail to create the sort of political storm that would compel journalists to continue to give the Rove scandal prominent play. Maybe their stonewall will hold. And what's the alternative? Tell the obvious truth and admit that Bush's most important adviser committed an act that Bush has said warrants dismissal? But what's the percentage in that? With McClellan providing no answers related to the Rove scandal, the question is whether the White House's we-can't-comment stance will allow it to dodge yet another troubling and inconvenient reality.

The fact is the Democrats really are, on their own, unable to create a sustained political shitstorm (though they of course could be better at it if they tried a bit harder). Absent the center-right mainstream media deciding to sustain an issue on its own, it just won't happen. This story, in so many ways, is about them - about how their confidential sourcing was abused to smear political opponents, how they've been carrying water for the lies of Scotty and Karl, and their overall gullibility.