From up north, the Plame case, he argues, looks like a diversion.
That's because real debate over basic foreign and domestic issues is off the table in the United States...both parties plus major players in business, media, etc. concur fundamentally even if they differ on details. That has been true with Iraq and the economy.
There is a consensus among the American elite
...but that consensus is constantly threatened by the fact that most U.S. citizens disagree with it...65 per cent want health care for all, even if it means higher taxes; 86 percent want a higher minimum wage; 59 percent think the Iraq war was a mistake and 63 percent want troops partly or fully out...On economic, foreign policy and "non-moral" issues, they are to the "left" of their elites.
How about this for a comparison? The U.S. looks strangely like the old Soviet Union in this regard.
in the U.S. opposition to the official "line" is allowed to vent through anger at minor outrages committed by the forces that impose the bipartisan consensus...And now, in a time of strong, ill-expressed dissent over a bungled war and staggering economy, there's a CIA-outing mini-scandal. It's what you get when you have a large stifled undercurrent to the left of an official right-wing political culture.
The Plame affair is a diversion from talking about real issues.
I've read lots of punditry explaining that it matters because it's "really" about an illegal war, etc. Well, that's my point. Why can't they talk about [Bush] lying or the validity of this war? Why must they do it indirectly, and end up having a debate about it's really about?
When and how do Americans get to discuss the "bipartisan consensus"?