With so many scandals coming down the pike -- DeLay's multiple indictments, Frist's stock snafu, and the Plame extravaganza -- conservatives are really starting to lose it. One sign of their trouble is that the rumors have started racing around Washington. Has one of Cheney's aides spilled his guts in the Plame investigation? Has a big figure like Colin Powell or Ari Fleischer sung? Things have gotten so bad that there are even rumors that Dick Cheney might soon resign. I don't put much faith in these rumors -- at least the last two -- but I do love the idea that all these crazy rumors are really out there. They show just how far the White House is off its game and just how much the Republicans are on their heels. What's more, it's fun.
I'm reminded of my favorite LBJ story, when early in his career he wanted to float rumors that his campaign opponent, a pig farmer, was a little too familiar with his livestock. "Jesus, Lyndon," the campaign manager responded. "Nobody's going to believe that." "Yeah," LBJ said, "but I want to hear the SOB deny it."
So let the rumors fly. Back during the Elian Gonzalez insanity, Peggy Noonan wondered aloud if Bill Clinton were being blackmailed by Fidel Castro for some unspeakable crime Clinton had committed. Nooners thought this stuff was wholly fair game: "Is it irresponsible to speculate? It would be irresponsible not to."
Alright, then. I just heard that Karl Rove once strangled a hobo to get an erection.