Thursday, January 15, 2009

WSJ on Scooter Libby

A few days ago I recommended Vanity Fair's piece on the Bush presidency, Here's a remarkable Wall Street Journal editorial, mostly about the Scooter Libby pardon, which presents, um, a different picture. Some excerpts:
"If Iraq fails, history will mark down the Bush presidency. If by fits and starts Iraq grows into the Middle East's first large, functioning democratic republic, a more likely result, the Bush presidency will be one of the great building blocks of the new century's political order."
"The Bush team righted itself and assembled a tough response to the attack: the assault on the terror strongholds of Afghanistan and the Patriot Act. Then, in astonishingly short order, the political unity of 9/11 dissolved. Mr. Bush and his team found themselves embattled by the opposition party, much of the Beltway press corps and a leaking national-security bureaucracy. The goal of the domestic opposition was to thwart the Bush antiterror policy, or take down the people shaping it."
"In my many years of writing about Washington's politics, I thought that the Plame affair, its long, mad hunt for the leaker, and then the Libby trial, was one of the most fantastic, preposterous events I've ever watched."
"Yes, a pardon would set the anti-Bush chorus to howling. So? They've done plenty to turn the city into a viper's nest."

It's almost quaint to see someone still plowing these fields, no? The utter irrelevance of this bizarre clinging elicits a pang of genuine nostalgia, sort of like how I felt when I saw old people in Galicia still dressing up in their finest on Franco's birthday.

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