Thank God Rove is not to be indicted, so the left will have to talk about something else for a change. As a worthy hobbyhorse for the left, the whole Plame scandal has never made any sense. What was it all about in the first analysis? Outing a CIA employee. What’s wrong with that?
Rove has swollen in the left’s imagination like a descendant of Père Ubu, Jarry’s surreal monster. There was no scheme so deviously diabolical but that the hand of Rove could not be detected at work. Actually, the man has always been of middling competence. He makes Dickie Morris look like Cardinal Richelieu. Since 9/11 where has been the good news for the Administration? Under Rove’s deft hand George W. Bush has been maneuvered into one catastrophe after another. Count the tombstones: “Bring it on,” “Mission Accomplished,” the sale of US port management to Arabs. It was Rove who singlehandedly rescued the antiwar movement last August by advising Bush not to give Cindy Sheehan fifteen minutes of face time at his ranch in Crawford.
And when Rove’s disastrous hand is wrenched from the steering wheel, it passes to another bugaboo of the left, in the form of Dick Cheney. It was the Vice President who gave Jack Murtha traction last November when the Democrats were trying to cold-shoulder the author of the only decent political initiative to have come from their ranks since the election of 2004. In his wisdom the draft-dodging Cheney insulted the bemedaled former Marine drill instructor as having no “backbone” and, via a White House spokesman, as being a clone of Michael Moore. He had to apologize three days later.
Rove and Cheney, the White House’s answer to Bouvard and Pécuchet, have driven George Bush into the lowest ratings of any American President. Yet the left remains obsessed with their evil powers. Is there any better testimony to the vacuity and impotence of the endlessly touted “blogosphere,” which in mid-June had twin deb balls in the form of the Yearly Kos convention in Las Vegas and the Take Back America folkmoot of “progressive” Democrats in Washington, DC?
In political terms the blogosphere is like white noise, insistent and meaningless. But MoveOn.org and Daily Kos are now hailed as the emergent form of modern politics, the target of an excited article by Bill McKibben in The New York Review of Books.
Beyond raising money swiftly handed over to the gratified veterans of the election industry, both MoveOn and Daily Kos have had zero political effect, except as a demobilizing force. The effect on writers is horrifying. Talented people feel they have to produce 400 words of commentary every day, and you can see the lethal consequences on their minds and style, which turn rapidly to slush. They glance at the New York Times and rush to their laptops to rewrite what they just read. Hawsers to reality soon fray and they float off, drifting zeppelins of inanity.