02/14/2006 11:14 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Why Now?

The namesake of this site asks, rhetorically, why now? Why, that is, does the White House press get angry over the administration's time-release approach to the truth, only when it involves the relatively trivial (although not to Counselor Whittington) matter of Trick Shot Cheney?

There's this psychological theory called displacement. You can look it up. A feeling generated by one experience surfaces in another context, because it's safer there than in its originating environment. So, three, four years of being lied to on serious matters boils over at BirdshotGate. The Republicans, whose talk-radio acolytes are screaming "foul" over the White House press corps' sudden burst of anger, now know what it felt like when the Monica story erupted (that was the word of choice back then) on the Clinton Administration. Like this in-your-face shooting, that one embodied a cartoon version of what "everyone" in Washington already knew and/or believed: in the first case, that Clinton was a womanizer, and too clever by half ("I'll finish myself off in the sink, so it's not really sex"), and in this case, that Cheney is a secretive manipulator who would rather shoot the truth than tell it.