Monday, October 24, 2005
Where Have All The Conservatives Gone?
I will not attempt a retelling of the particulars of the Plame case here; it's been much better documented by other bloggers (Atrios has been relentless) and is really quite a bit of conjecture at this point. The conventional wisdom says that Fitzgerald has some indictments prepared and will likely had them down this week, as the grand jury expires on the 31st. With a civil suit by Plame & Wilson also pending, the GOP is struggling to keep its head above water.
My interest in this case is to wonder, as above: Where have all the conservatives gone? At this point, only the staunchest of partisan Republicans are still claiming that this case is much ado about nothing. An undercover CIA agent had her identity exposed for political payback. Karl Rove and "Scooter" Libby have been at least involved enough to warrant multiple appearances in front of the grand jury. Yet, still, the Right seems largely silent on this matter.
Why? The outing of an undercover CIA agent is a treasonous act and should be recognized as such by both sides of the aisle. Valerie Plame's front company worked in nuclear non-proliferation, essential to our national security. A CIA agent was outed for political revenge and that outing has compromised a piece of our security against weapons of mass destruction. This is something for which, in years past, conservatives would have been vocally against. And yet, silence...
The Bush Administration's entire case for war in Iraq was built upon fabrication after fabrication, most easily disproved several years ago. Joseph Wilson was doing his job as an American by pointing out that a Presidential administration was building a phony case for war. Yet, conservatives despise him for it, given that he's in opposition to a President from their party. Again, why? Don't conservatives believe that protecting our CIA agents is important? Don't they think that the "War on Terror" is better fought when we have agencies working to restrict the black market trade in nuclear weapons? Conservatives nationwide should be praising the work of Valerie Plame and calling for the heads of those responsible for burning her.
And yet, silence. Or worse, defense of this heinous act. Why?
Pundits and the media both still claim that Bush's strong point politically is national security. How can this be? This is the President that was asleep at the wheel on 9/11. This is the President that has yet to capture Osama Bin Laden, whose capture he publicly called for "dead or alive". And this is the President whose administration is responsible for the outing of an undercover CIA agent working in nuclear non-proliferation. It is time to lay to rest the fallacy that the Bush Administration is strong on national defense.
Weak on defense. Weak on domestic issues. Weak on fiscal policy. Ethically challenged and under investigation. Yes, staunchly supported by conservatives of all stripes.