Letters from the Center
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
  Daily Kos - Republican Leaders: We Support Plame's Outing


I'm terribly disappointed with the headline of this article as nowhere
has any Republican official that I've seen -- nor that you cite -- said
anything even remotely close to this. Is this your notion of objective
analysis and reporting?

Overall, I'm disappointed by your mischaracterization of the Republican
position. Granted, they are eager to shut up on the issue, and yes,
they're interpreting everything in the best possible light. But in the
same vein, you appear to be interpeting their every statement in the
worst possible light, too. Take, for example, the RNC quote and your
response. You quoted Ken Mehlman (Chairman of the RNC) in saying:

"It's disappointing that once again, so many Democrat leaders are taking
their political cues from the far-left, Moveon wing of the party. *The
bottom line is Karl Rove was discouraging a reporter from writing a
false story based on a false premise and the Democrats are engaging in
blatant partisan political attacks.*" (Emphasis yours.)

While he is obviously minimizing the importance of the charages against
Rove, this statement on its face isn't demonstrably false. They believe
Rove cited Plume -- indirectly, and without knowledge that she was a
covert agent -- in order to "prove" the Nigerian cake story was false.
They further believe that there is some doubt whether Plume is in fact
covert, and whether any law was actually broken. From this perspective,
the story is a non-event, and the Democrats are over-hyping the issue as
a "blatant partisan political attack". In short, it's possible to
honestly believe the statement simply through a willingness to interpret
all the evidence in favor of Rove.

In the same sense, it's entirely possible to honestly believe Rove is
guilty, lying through his teeth, a brilliant mastermind of the Plume
outing, and a honest-to-God traitor. All you have to do is interpret
all the evidence against Rove, and it's quite easy.

But the key thing is that neither view is "correct", and neither is more
"honest" than the other.

It's no surprise that the far-right ignores anything slightly damaging
to "their man" when the far-left ignores anything potentially
reassuring. Please try to be more accepting of alternate
interpretations of the evidence and at least acknowledge the limits of
our, and your, understanding. If you truly believe in the truth, be
confident you'll be vindicated in the end. But don't muddy the waters
so that it never becomes clear.


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I'm what you might call a "radical centrist" and these are my letters to bloggers, journalists, and politicians -- left, right, and center -- where I implore them to pull away from the edges and back to the mainstream. Come read if you like, but I'll keep writing either way.

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David Barrett
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