Michael Barone provides a historical overview to the current efforts among the “liberal Democrats and their sympathizers in the mainstream media” to deligitimize the Bush adminsitration: “Bush bashing fizzles.” I particularly appreciate this paragraph on current events:
Now the unsupported charges that “Bush lied” about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq have been rekindled via criticism of Karl Rove. A key witness for the Democrats and mainstream media was former diplomat Joseph Wilson. Unfortunately for his advocates, he turned out to be a liar. A year after his famous article appeared in The New York Times in July 2003 accusing Bush of “twisting” intelligence, the Senate Intelligence Committee, in a bipartisan report, concluded that Wilson lied when he said his wife had nothing to do with his dispatch to Niger, and Chairman Pat Roberts said that his report bolstered rather than refuted the case that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq sought to buy uranium in Africa. So despite the continuing credulousness of much of the press, it appears inconceivable at this point that Karl Rove will be charged with violating the law prohibiting disclosure of the names of undercover agents. The case against Rove — ballyhooed by recent Time and Newsweek cover stories that paid little heed to the discrediting of Wilson — seems likely to end not with a bang but a whimper.
Barone’s concluding paragraph also bears on the subject of “middle fingers” that I discuss below:
The bombings and attempted bombings in London have brought home to the American public that we face implacable enemies unwilling to be appeased by even the most emollient diplomacy. Yet, mainstream media coverage of Iraq has been mostly negative. But mainstream media no longer have a monopoly; Americans have other sources in talk radio, Fox News and the blogosphere. Bush’s presidency is still regarded as illegitimate by perhaps 20 percent of the electorate. But among the rest, the attempt to delegitimize him seems to be collapsing.