Friday, March 16, 2007
The whole Plame/Libby kerfuffle arose because no one in the Bush Administration had the brains to hold a press conference and declare that Joe Wilson was lying and his no-longer secret agent wife had a role in sending him off on his little tea-drinking excursion. Had this happened, there would have been no Fitzgerald, no perjury and obstruction of justice conviction for Libby and, most important, the whole episode would have been over the day after the press conference.
But, no, they couldn't do that. Instead, they threw out one contradictory story after another, then lied and dissembled when investigators came calling. And, as a result, Bush's credibility took, and deservedly so, a huge hit.
And now comes the controversy over the firings of a handful of US Attorneys. The Administration could have kept this from becoming more than a one news cycle event by simply declaring that these particular US Attorneys - who serve at the pleasure of the President - were being replaced because Bush was unhappy with their priorities in prosecuting cases.
But no, they couldn't do that. Instead, they threw out one contradictory story after another. They tried to explain this away, not on the merits, as they should have, but as not being that different from what Clinton did when he fired all (but one, if I remember right) the US Attorneys shortly after taking over. They had Gonzales say things that were contradicted by emails and by his staff. And, as a result, Bush's credibility, already in the toilet, took, and deservedly so, a huge hit.
It would be one thing - and understandable - if the Bush Administration was trying to come up with a plausible story for having done something wrong. BUT THAT'S NOT THE CASE! They're screwing up things in which they're not wrong. And because of their sheer incompetence, the public doesn't look at what they did right, the public only sees the headlines that scream "Bush Lied", "Gonzales Changes Story" and so on... and the public's impression of Bush just sinks a little bit further.
And, in the not too distant future, along will come yet another instance of the gang-who-couldn't-get-their-stories-straight not getting their stories straight... and Bush's credibility ratings taking another hit.
You know, for all that Bush and team has said that this or that Democratic proposal will encourage the enemy and discourage our troops and allies, I'd hanker a guess that Bush has done more along those lines than any of the harebrained ideas of the loony left. It's not that the troops are getting discouraged because they're listening to Pelosi, they're getting discouraged because their Commander in Chief is a complete doofus.