Hogan's Alley

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Justice Department Document Dump, Oh The Horror!

Now that the Justice Department has released some 3000 pages of emails and other documents relating to the dismissal of the "Talking Points Eight", the House committee staff has scanned all the documents and put them up on the House website so that their minions on the web can pore over them, thus saving the staff having to bother. The staff can focus on crafting rationales to keep this silliness alive.

Well, lets look over at the webroot sites that started this ruckus. Josh Marshall and Paul Keil have pooled their resources at the TPMmuckraker site. Please take a look at several hours of investigation so far. What you will see is that nothing sinister has so far surfaced. The readers are excited to see the inner workings of the Dark Empire and seem to be frothing at the mouth.

What is missing is any evidence of a wide effort to fire any and all US Attorneys who were conducting investigations or prosecutions that were politically frowned on. What was does see is continuing evidence of government agency bureaucrats trying to respond to the demands of specific members of the legislature. Such demands and responses are a daily part of the life of government operatives at every level of government.

Let's wait two or three days, when Sen. Leahy has issued his subpoenas for White House staff to look back and see if there is yet any shred of evidence of wrongdoing in these documents or anywhere else. The proof of the insignificance of this matter is that it has not yet merited the required "_____gate" designation.

Added: Andrew Sullivan calls the effort at TPMmuckraker the future of journalism. He could be correct. I hope not. It will only continue and exacerbate the "got'cha politics" into which we have evolved since the time of Watergate. What this approach means is that vigorous argument over policy is now irrelevant. Winning is not about convincing the electorate that your side has the better policies. The assumption is that you are right and the other side is hopelessly and vilely wrong and that no amount of discussion will persuade them of your view. Screw political argument, let's just try to beat their brains in my any means necessary, with the object of fooling enough voters into pulling the lever for our side.

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