This half-decade tsunami of scandals has had the intended effect: overload the senses, short circuit the outrage, dizzy the opposition. How many times have Bush's opponents simply thrown their hands up in disgust, overwhelmed by the enormity of the administration's over-reach? How many times have bloggers railed against reporters for going about the business of burying scandals and muddying waters? How many times have Americans watched in amazement as a missing girl in Aruba receives weeks of blanket coverage while lies that led to war and law-breaking at the highest levels of government get a yawn from the media?
From a purely sensory perspective, it's natural to chase the flak. We're conditioned to respond to incoming fire. It's reflexive. But when the fire is coming from all sides, and coming relentlessly, the urge is to stop defending and curl up and give up. This is a process the Cheneys and Roves of this world understand all too well. It's no accident that the scandals get more and more outrageous - after all, the whole point is to have the opposition frantically racing around, chasing stories, distracted and exhausted, wearing itself out like a kitten in a catnip-doused, mouse-filled room.
The amazing thing is that so many of Bush's opponents continue to play along. The sheer inability to put on blinders and drive one scandal home, to take it to its ultimate conclusion, is a failing of magnificent proportions. The warrantless spying fiasco is a perfect example. The day the NSA story broke, it should have been the only issue discussed by Democrats and progressive activists, the only one. Day in, day out. No matter if thirty other scandals intervened.
Bush and his team count on the opposition's lack of focus, joyfully handing them more catnip. Perhaps that explains the ubiquitous and infamous administration smirk, most recently gracing Alberto Gonzales' face as he humored the Senate Judiciary Committee about breaking the law.
SCANDAL FATIGUE, CATNIP & THE 'ANGRY' LEFT:
Knowing this, I still get caught up with my angry political emotions, but it has also given me more insight to Kos himself. He's better at keeping his eye on the ball and doesn't stray as much into the fray as so many of us here.
I for one would appreciate a BIG reminder now and then of the real issues that keep fading and mingling with all the Rovian hair-balls.
Perhaps we could have a space on this diary page with the most important 'outrages' like these
Ex-CIA Official Faults Use of Data on Iraq
White House Knew About Levees Early
McClellan Confronted With Abramoff Emails
Waas's New Scoop:
Cheney 'Authorized' Libby to Leak Classified Information
Chief FISA judge warned about misuse of NSA spy data
House majority leader's landlord is a lobbyist
Republican Who Oversees N.S.A. Calls for Wiretap Inquiry
Bush's Budget Tricks
John Dickerson Speaks...And Drops Some Plamegate Bombshells
Bush's Social Security Sleight of Hand
Tom DeLay to Oversee Justice Department
listed so that we can really work on crossing them off.