Ok. It happened. I was wrong about something. Something big. That’s right. I got my Scooter Libby pardon prediction entirely wrong. Here it is: No pardon for Libby. That’s right, I misunderestimated Bush yet again. As I said in March, “with everything else falling apart for the Bushies right now, they won’t possibly risk a pardon.” Oops.
Needless to say, I had the arithmetic completely backwards on that one. Because with Bush’s poll numbers so low, they figured they can’t go down any more. And prison is so unseemly. So the Bushies did an old-school lobbying push on the DC Establishment and hit all the right notes. And with their buddies in line, they figured they had nothing to lose by getting rid of the prison time.
But of course, all this was yet another rationalization from Uncle Dick. And if Cheney needed the decision to go the other way, he would have convinced them of that too. Funny how that works out. The facts always seem to align themselves with whatever Cheney needs to have happen. I guess some people are just lucky that way.
But unfortunately for Dick, he’s had to rely on the “We Can’t Go Any Lower” rationalization too many times. Because that’s all he’s got. He can’t argue from a position of strength, because he doesn’t have any. So he’s now down to telling Bush about the future Americans who will recognize his greatness, because there are so few alive able to do so with a straight face.
Losing the Base
But even worse: The Can’t Go Any Lower argument is entirely false. Bush can always go down further. Believe it or not, even Republicans have their breaking points, and this is just going to be another heap of straw dropping on that poor elephant’s back. I’m not at all suggesting that Bush will drop below the 20’s just because of this, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the lower poll outliers become even more constant from this.
Sure, the Bushies will be claiming this as yet another sweeping victory for their team. And hell, they might even believe it this time. But this isn’t going away and is yet another indefensible act no one wants to defend. And the last people wanting to defend them are Bush’s already beleaguered allies in Congress. While Bush’s political retirement is inevitable, many of his defenders would prefer to not tie themselves so closely to Bush’s fate. While it’s quite unlikely that Bush will be forced to uncommute Libby’s sentence, he has made himself even more radioactive from his actions.
If nothing else, just read this sample of fiery rhetoric issued from various mainstream Dems. The Bushies have given even right-leaning Dems like Hillary a leftie-rousing club to beat Republicans with. For as much as habeas corpus and Iraq are dangerzones to any “serious” presidential candidate, this Libby thing can be a lot of fun; even for a moderate.
Oh, and as a side note: At this point, there is no one who wants to support Bush. People support Bush because they have to support Bush. Even Bush wouldn’t support Bush, if he wasn’t Bush. Who would? No one. I am quite confident that if people were to objectively answer if they would support a president like Bush, his approval would be no higher than zero percent. And possibly lower.
Fingers do the Thinking
And just to be sure, I actually started doubting my prediction while I was writing the last paragraph of that post. As I wrote: These guys are like the mob and protect their own. Stay loyal and they’ll take care of you. And if you don’t stay loyal…they’ll take care of you. With these guys, loyalty isn’t a choice; but it sure does pay.
Now I’ve got a confession for you people: I often don’t think this stuff out before I write it. I usually will read a news story or blog post, think an opening line or two, and just start typing away as fast as possible. I usually have no idea what I’m going to write until I write it and often learn new stuff as I type. That’s how I do my thing. I let my mind wander and it goes wherever it wants. Some people call it luck, but I call it genius.
And so when I wrote that last paragraph, I began to wonder how that wouldn’t mean that they’d pardon him. But I was so proud of my contrarian prediction, I decided to stick with it. It just sounded right, even if it didn’t quite mesh in my head. And now I know that my fingers were smarter than my brain and I should have just gone with the direction they were pushing in; though this does not mean that I’ll soon be Doctor Biofinger. That just sounds gross.
And in any case, the rest of the prediction was obviously spot-on. Whether or not Libby served jailtime, he was going to be taken care of. And it’s just a matter of time until he’s the elder statesmen called in to save George P. Bush’s butt from that “misguided” invasion of France. And all the DC Establishment will shout a hardy hurray that a grown-up such as Scooter has come to fix everything.
Oh, and I was also totally wrong about Digby being a dude. Oops.