Turning that frown upside down since 2002

by Ted on October 3, 2003

I agree with Daniel Drezner that scandal-blogging is exhausting. So here are some happy thoughts:

* Shortly after the war in Iraq, when no WMDs were immediately discovered, there was a fair amount of speculation among lefties that someone would simply plant evidence. This has not happened. It’s damning with faint praise, sure, but I can just imagine how embittering the debate would have been if there was a plausible but unprovable suspicion of planted evidence.

* Some of the folks who were smirking about how Bush was going to pull a “rope-a-dope” on those silly Democrats with their concerns about WMDs will have to take a look in the mirror, if they have one.

* I have the suspicion that the pungency of the phrase “slime and defend” is such that it shamed a few people out of attacking Wilson today.

* The folks in The Corner said many more sensible than foolish things about Rush’s comments on ESPN, and about his pathetic “First Amendment” defense.

* Reading Spencer Ackerman and Clifford May debate the White House leak of Plame’s identity is great fun. It reminds me of an old Conan O’Brian skit called “Right Side/ Wrong Side”. Conan would adopt the popular side of a non-controversial issue (like “Is it right to beat children?”), force Andy to adopt the other side, and berate him for it. Here’s an example of Ackerman responding to May:

“Attacking Larry Johnson–an ex-counterterrorism official–as someone who would compromise intelligence assets is as out of nowhere as it is deeply offensive. He hasn’t been an active CIA officer since the late ’80s. You can’t point to a single intelligence asset he compromised, on PBS or elsewhere. In fact, he’s a Fox News contributor, and, as I understand, seriously angered by the Plame outing and those who would apologize for it. The next time you see him in the Fox green room, I encourage you to make your arguments to him. If he’s heard them already, I’d advise you to walk away from him very quickly.

Similarly, you “source” your innuendo that Wilson is somehow conflicted in talking about Iraq to his affiliation as an adjunct scholar with the Middle East Institute, which you say is in bed with the Saudis. I’ll play along for now and assume that whenever Prince Bandar walks by, Wilson genuflects. Well, if you want to start arguing that Saudi connections compromise the honest assessment and conduct of foreign policy, let me direct you to the offices of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, and a slew of other Washington officials.”

* School of Rock looks like a lot of fun.

UPDATE: In comments, tripp adds:

Some good news, the weather in Iraq is cooling off, so it is more comfortable for our troops and the Iraqi’s without AC.



Anno-nymous 10.03.03 at 7:20 am

School of Rock is great. It starts off shaky, but it’s great. My only regret is that I can’t go back in time and start a rock band as a child… Maybe Brian can help me with that?


JP 10.03.03 at 3:01 pm

I just love that Conan analogy.


Reg 10.03.03 at 3:28 pm

“slime and defend” was coined by a Republican Congressional staffer, who probably doesn’t know any more about WH strategy than I do. My guess is that he works for Specter or Hagel.


nofundy 10.03.03 at 3:54 pm

More good news:

Bill O’Reilly promised back in March he would resign if no WMDs were found by David Kay when the report was released in September. We’re waiting Mr. O’Really… we want it in written form too… blame the liberals if you want… just SHUT UP!


Rob 10.03.03 at 5:28 pm

Ahh, the Reg defense…

All Republicans know that Plame was CIA but no Republicans in Congress know how the White House will respond.


Tripp 10.03.03 at 7:37 pm

Some good news, the weather in Iraq is cooling off, so it is more comfortable for our troops and the Iraqi’s without AC.


JP 10.03.03 at 8:06 pm

May’s post today is really something else…

And it may even be that Joe Wilson blew his wife’s cover. Bob Novak says the ambassador told him: “I will not answer any questions about my wife.”

Spencer, if his wife was under cover, Ambassador Wilson should have answered questions about her. He should have answered by giving the CIA-approved cover story. He should have stuck to that story no matter what. To say “I will not answer” to an old ink-stained wretch like Bob Novak is the equivalent of a wink and a nudge.


Ted Barlow 10.03.03 at 10:16 pm

Excellent point, tripp; I’ll add it.


Gary Farber 10.03.03 at 11:12 pm

The really happy thought is that you got around to returning me to your blogroll, Ted! So people can read lots of the happy, happy, joy, joy, entries I’ve been making! Including you! And Chris Bertram!

Isn’t that great news?


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