Pop Culture Has Its Way With Karl Rove (or The Revenge of Jack Ryan):
One of the things that has failed liberals at every step of the way on stories as seemingly cut and dried as, say, Dick Cheney's relationship with Halliburton is that we've been on the wrong side of the simple vs. complex storyline. See, in order to understand how diabolical the Cheney/Halliburton nexus is, one has to immerse oneself into laws and rules regarding the finances of government officials, the various schemes created for assuring Halliburton would become bloated like dead hippo corpse, and more. Shit, it's just easier to ignore it.

But this time we're finally on the easy-to-understand, anger-inducing side: Karl Rove outed a CIA agent for petty vengeance against her husband. That's all the narrative that's necessary. To counter that, the opposing side needs to entangle itself in legalistic arguments and semantical stunts, the kinds of arguments that always seem to be what liberals are making. Look at the stunning recitation of alleged history, law, and "media bias," all wadded into a huge ball of semen-stained Kleenex for your disposal by Andrew McCarthy (not the one who made a corpse seem alive in Weekend at Bernie's, but, as a writer for the National Review, achieves the same effect). Watch any of your loyal right-wing pundits act like they know the minutiae of rules and legalities. It's positively, breathtakingly, as they would have once said, "Clintonesque."

On Fox "News" last night, Sean Hannity interviewed Michael Isikoff about the Rove/Plame affair, and Isikoff scoffed as Hannity sputtered and tried to claim the story was evidence of "media bias" and that the "law" on revealing covert agents wasn't broken. Isikoff simply told Hannity to take a step back from the ledge and wait until Patrick Fitzgerald's done. Hannity, never a man to be told he looks like a drooling, idiot ape, refused, calling the whole story a media-manufactured "food fight."

What's happening here, with polls showing that very few Americans believe the Bush administration on the whole issue, is the American public, having been fed years of propagandistic books, films, and television shows, since the Cold War, about how magnificent the CIA is in protecting our freedom (despite, you know, having often done quite the opposite), feels as if it's looking out for Jack Ryan. You know Jack Ryan, Tom Clancy's CIA agent, played by AlecBaldwinHarrisonFordBenAffleck in the movies. By this point in a Clancy novel or film, Jack Ryan (or someone) would have grabbed the tweedy, bespectacled, fat, balding asshole politico, who thought a CIA agent's identity was just more political capital to be spent when expedient, and beaten the shit out of him, leaving him bleeding, glasses broken, pissing himself on the floor of the Oval Office. Hell, where do you wanna go with this? Jason Bourne? Sydney Bristow? Bill Cosby on I Spy? George Smiley? James fuckin' Bond? All of the spy glorification in pop culture has made it a cardinal rule: you don't blow someone's cover.

The Rove story has legs because the corporate media that lionizes spies over and over as a way of justifying secret operations against Americans, as well as bullshit like the Contras and more, has taught the public to love them some CIA agents. In a Clancy novel, we know who the villains are: they are just as likely to be the bureaucrats in DC as they are the arms dealers. And both should be dealt with as criminals.

So all Democrats really have to do is stand back and let these fuckers twist in the wind. When we hear Rove told Matt Cooper, "I've said too much already," we know that that's the line of scoundrels and weasels trying to cover their own asses. When we hear the President lower the ethical standards bar by which one can work for the White House all the way to the floor, we know that he's covering for his friend. It's all SOP for those who, it seems more and more each day, are SOL.