He that has suffered this disordered spring
Hath now himself met with the fall of leaf.
The weeds which his broad spreading leaves did shelter,
That seemed in eating him to hold him up,
Are plucked up root and all…
By the middle of the third act of Shakespeare’s Richard II, things are going very badly for the King. Believing rather too much in the divine right of his rule, Richard had driven out the wise men of the barony, replacing them with a trio of acquisitive yes-men, Bushy, Bagot, and Green, also known as “the caterpillars of the state.” Richard had earlier banished his cousin Henry, but when Richard’s powerful uncle, John of Gaunt dies and Richard foolishly tries to take uncle John’s Duchy of Lancaster for himself, cousin Henry, the late Duke’s son, returns to England, rallies the disgruntled nobles, raises an army and sets out, ostensibly to claim his Duchy and rescue the King from the evil counselors who have led him astray. Henry uproots (and beheads) “The noisome weeds which without profit suck / The soil’s fertility of wholesome flowers,” but somehow things get out of hand. Richard is soon dead; the next play in the series is Henry IV Part I.
This is the way it was done. An attack on the king is too easily spun as an attack on the state. But an attack on the evil counselors, who have misled the king, is an attack in defense of king and country. Democrats take heart. Scooter, also known as I. Lewis Libby, chief vassal and steward of the powerful Baron of Halliburton has been removed from the garden. One down.
Disappointing as it is that Boy Genius, also known as Turd Blossom, also known as “Official A,” also known as Karl Rove, has slipped away and remains, for now, at the ear of the King. But it won’t take an alchemist to metamorphose this caterpillar into political gold. The legal system is not a substitute for politics and the political issue is now much easier and more clearly cut than the legal one. The President’s remaining spinners are going to ask: Was the outing of Valerie Plame a crime, under the (fortunately) stringent terms of the Identities Protection Act? It may or may not have been. But the politically correct answer is “It doesn’t matter.” The President did not promise to avoid indictable behavior; he promised to restore dignity and integrity to the Oval Office. How can you do that with a bunch of liars?
Here’s some simple deductive logic: The President told us that he wanted to get to the bottom of the Valerie Plame affair. He told that Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby had been asked—by him or on his behalf—whether they had anything at all to do with it and that they had assured him they did not. It is now a matter of public record that both Rove and Libby were involved.
ERGO: ROVE LIED TO THE PRESIDENT.
I don’t care whether he broke the law or not. He cannot continue to work in my White House because he LIED TO MY PRESIDENT. Surely the President cannot continue to take advice from a man he cannot trust. Faced with this logic, the President has two only two possible responses: Fire Rove or admit that he, the President, was complicit in the lie.
This is serious. What if the President’s closest aides lied to him about WMD in Iraq? Oh my, what if he started a war because he believed them?
Oh Democrats, my Democrats. Don’t take the Republican bait. Please don’t debate the role of special counsel and the arcanery of law. Just explain and repeat, explain and repeat:
Nobody lies to my President and gets away with it.