September 18, 2004

But nothing went as planned

Just thinking about Rathergate a bit...

By the way, Orin Kerr recently chided bloggers of the Rive Droit for the frivolity of obsessing on forged memos when there are earth-shaking issues now in the balance But in fact, there's not a lot we can do about the big issues right now. This election is this year's battlefield in the War. But the troops are already on the march, and it's too late to haggle over the plans, or give harangues about duty and country.

It's like an old-time war, like the Battle of Borodino as viewed by Tolstoy. Once the armies have been committed, there's nothing much for the general to do. The columns disappear into clouds of smoke and dust, and the onlooker might as well enjoy a pipe and a glass of brandy. Maybe have a game of checkers.

Anyway, those memos. Remember, they were sent by CBS to the White House, which then passed them on to the rest of the press without comment. (The President has released all his military records, so that's what should happen if new documents surface.) But were they just passed on without examination? Not likely.

Another blogger has suggested something like the following [sorry, lost the link. Here it is]: that CBS sent the memos to the WH assuming they would elicit a confession, or a stammered denial that would look like guilt. That's the 60 Minutes schtick, isn't it? Confront the wretched wrongdoer with the carefully-groomed evidence, and his shuffling and confusion pretty much confirms the story right there. And if there's no denial, then Rather points out that that must be taken as evidence of guilt.

But nothing went as planned....

But nothing went as planned. CBS is so sunk in Lefty delusion that probably they just assumed any tale they were telling must be true. Or at least indisputable. But when we talk about experts examining documents, remember the biggest expert of all is in the Oval Office. George W Bush was there! Unlike sneering reporters from Manhattan, he actually knows what the hell he's talking about! He knows what really happened. And Karl Rove is sure to have all the (true) details in his head. They would have seen in an instant that the memo was fishy. Within an hour the FBI document examiners would have confirmed this.

What then? These guys are way too honest and smart to forge documents. But if, like Bugs Bunny, they are handed a stick of dynamite with a hissing fuze, well... they won't at all mind handing it right back, and munching a carrot while Porky Dan goes Ka-Boom! So the memos are passed on to the ProNewsMedia, thereby ensuring that CBS can't just wave them about, like Senator McCarthy, and not let them be examined....


NOBODY deserves it as much as that pompous bully Dan Rather.

Another thought. While the vigorous pursuit of Rathergate is being done partly to help the Republican campaign, it's also about a LOT of people who have been angry and frustrated for a LONG time. Sort of like the Swift Boat Vets. People sneer that the Swifties are part of the Republican apparatus. But they aren't. (Which should be obvious just from the fact that they started with only $200k. A Republican scheme would have had $20 million.) They tapped a deep lode of bitter resentment, and probably would have done much the same if Kerry had been the Republican candidate.

And the delicious paradox is that the resentment has been building up pressure for so long precisely because the Rather types have, until recently, controlled the news media, and marginalized anyone who dissented from their liberal orthodoxy. Remember that old woman in Tale of Two Cities, knitting a sweater with the names of them what's gonna get the chop? Ha ha. Well, vets and Republicans have been grinding their teeth in frustration for decades. Kerry and Rather won't be guillotined, but if they were I for one wouldn't shed any tears.

Posted by John Weidner at September 18, 2004 12:23 PM
Weblog by John Weidner