So, Scooter Libby will be the one doing the frog march. The Bush administration’s Teflon coating didn’t extend quite far enough down the food chain to protect his lying derriere…
Two years of heightened anticipation from the left, and well-orchestrated non-comment by the right, have come down to the indictment of a relatively minor administration official; someone safely distant from the President himself. Talk about an anti-climax. It seems to have worked out perfectly for the Texas Cartel. A sacrificial lamb has been offered up. For all that some pundits dismally drone that a cloud still hangs over the president’s own staff, I fully expect Mr. Bush to act as if the matter, which barely blipped onto his radar screen to begin with, was closed. He’ll allow his deputy chief of staff the appearance of re-admittance to the inner circle (as if he had ever really been expelled...) Any day now, he’ll throw his arm around Rove and crow, "Karl, you’re doin’ a heck of a job!" Indeed.
The most serious onus hanging over the President’s head right now is that he should "apologize" to the American people. Excuse me, but, what exactly is he expected to apologize for? Nothing has been proven here except that Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff may have been caught lying to the Grand Jury, presumably to save his boss’s bacon. In any other administration in recent memory, the vice president might as well have been on Pluto, as have an office in the same building as the president. Surely the Bush Administration will be happy to perpetuate that fantasy in regard to the relationship between our current president and his second banana. The American people have been conditioned by decades of weak-to-invisible vice presidents; it should be simple enough for the Republican spin machine to convince us that rot in the office of the Vice President has no connection to or bearing upon the Chief Executive. An indication of corruption at higher levels? Nonsense! The President should be able to toss this bit of distracting lint away with a flick of his valet's miracle brush, wait for the ADD-afflicted American media to chase after the scent of some other non-story, and then go on with business as usual. The business of ruining our good name abroad, destabilizing the Middle East, sending down more unfunded decrees to follow "No Child Left Behind," ensuring another quarter of record profits for the oil industry… And the strongest rebuke the opposition can muster is that the president needs to "take responsibility." Say sorry. Woo hoo. That will not heat the homes of the people who will have to choose between freezing and starving this winter.
On the release of the news of Libby’s indictment, Mr. Bush donned his "solemn leader" façade for the cameras, pushed the whole affair to arms length, and made sure he threw in a pointed comment about "getting back to the business of protecting the American people." Proving that this president will eternally poke the stick into that hornet’s nest, resurrecting and relying upon the fear of the quaking masses who rewarded him with a second term in office. Will that be enough, anymore? Have the American people received just enough of a glimpse at the intricate web of deceit woven by this administration, to make them squirm? Possibly fall out of lock-step and start peeking under desks and into file cabinets and computer hard drives in the West Wing to uncover what other lies, great and small, have been perpetrated while we have been in "duck and cover" mode? Time—that slippery commodity which, at this point, appears to be on the Bush Administration payroll—will tell.