Monday, February 05, 2007

Plamegate: Same shit, very different day

I have been trying to follow the Libby trial. I've enjoyed reading about the Queen of Iraq and her flop sweat, about the unambiguous evil that Dick Cheney is being revealed beyond a shadow of a doubt to be, and lots of other fun stuff. And I have seen that it has been getting a fair amount of media play -- not quite as prominently it deserves, and not always with the accuracy the Plame-obsessed demand, but certainly better than what we saw a few years ago.

And that brings up a pretty fundamental point -- the change in media context in the last couple of years. Think about the way the press reacted to the State of the Union speech. Major news outlets actually fact-checked the thing. The "surge" was met with near-universal skepticism. The move in Congress to stop it has generally gotten "serious" coverage -- serious being the common Beltway shorthand for "stuff we agree with." Sure, there is still plenty of willful blindness to skewer. But it no longer has the field to itself.

When Patrick Fitzgerald indicted Scooter Libby, I was part of the large contingent of lefties who thought that the fate of the Republic might well rest on Fitz's shoulders. Remember the "Fitzmas" hysteria? And the disappointment when our only present was Scooter, rather than the Architect? Fitz may still deliver a knockout blow. But I think the big takeaway here is that, against all expectation, that right uppercut may not be necessary. The Administration is now so far behind on points that, at least in terms of public opinion, victory is mathematically impossible.

How did it happen? I think Fitz played a vital role, but I also think it is evidence of the power of the army of Lilliputians. I think it is reasonable to argue that we would not be where we are without the blogosphere. On a day-to-day basis it often seems like the stupid is omnipresent, and that our effect is like water on a vary large rock. But comparing press coverage during the early days of Fitz's investigation (of his work, but also of Bush and Iraq) and now shows that change is coming not in geologic time, but on a ramp that is starting to approach real time.

I don't want to overstate the importance of this aspect of things -- we have not eliminated Bush/Cheney's ability to wreak havoc in Iraq, Iran and of course here at home. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't acknowledge the progress that has been made.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Fitz will accidentally-on-purpose nab the big fish, Cheney, while fishing for the minnow, Libby in a 'sorry, Charlie' moment.

4:20 AM  
Blogger bluememe said...

I can't remember where I saw/heard it yesterday, but somebody (David Shuster?) said that a less conservative prosecutor had told them that, based on the evidence, he would have charged a criminal conspiracy and named Cheney as an unindicted co-conspirator.

Alas, I suspect the Dick won't testify, and none of that will come to pass.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wouldnt it be nice if everyone would start wearing Show your mood T-shirts? Would make everything so much easier...

2:54 PM  

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