I’m much too busy to go into detail, but I just saw this little bit of the Libby trial, via Digby:
Mr Libby called Matalin for advice. On July 8 he wrote down notes in which Rove said, "people are taking Wilson as a credible expert." 2 days go by, he calls Matalin for advice. She tells him, she gives him strategy. "We need someone who can sum it up. This is fitting into Democratic story. It has legs. The story's not going away. We need to address Wilson motivation. The President should wave his wand."
And this is one of the constant failures of conservatives, and why they’ll always make bad poker players. They never know when to back down. They always think they need to push whatever cards they have as far as they can go. And sure, bluffing’s a great strategy. But it becomes a bit obvious when you never fold and will always take things as far as they go.
Because the Wilson story didn’t have legs. Sure, it was a bit damning. But it was all high-level stuff that was easily dismissed. Joe Sixpack was unlikely to ever hear about it, and they were the target audience for the WMD myth. And so the Whitehouse should have given a low-played dismissal of the story and said that it proved nothing and to let it die.
But no. They have to fight everything everywhere and can’t let one thing slip by like this. And now they’re in the middle of a nasty trial and everything’s coming out, and this could conceivably lead to Cheney’s resignation or impeachment or whatever. And if nothing else, all their little dirty secrets about how they constantly manipulated the press are being exposed, and nobody likes to be played like a sucker. Not even the suckers in the media.
And sure, hindsight’s 20/20, and all that. But the Wilson thing was never a big story. It’s been awhile, but I’m not even sure I was really aware of it until the Plame thing exploded, and I follow this kind of stuff. The average American would have been even more in the dark. Even now, I suspect that most people only have the vaguest notion of this trial’s existence or its implications; but the media certainly does, and they’re the ones that need to hear it.
They should have let it die. But they can’t. They have to fight every fight. They can’t back down. They can’t allow any voices of dissent. So here we are, laughing our asses off as the Whitehouse Propaganda Machine blows up in their faces and tells everything. And none of this was unpredictable. Actions have consequences, and Republicans have been engaging in some mighty bad actions for a long time. Everything else was to be expected.