In short, Kristof, like so many before him these past several years, is saying "let's not stoop to the Republicans' dirty partisan antics." He seems to be echoing one of the latest GOP talking points that Fitzgerald should only indict on the original charge of a possible criminal breach of the 1982 law prohibiting the revealing CIA agents' identities rather than on the "mushier" kinds of indictments for perjury, obstruction of justice or revealing classified information...But if the evidence is more equivocal, then indictments would mark just the kind of overzealous prosecutorial discretion that was a disgrace when Democrats were targeted. And it would be just as disgraceful if Republicans are the targets."
But that's just it. The Republicans have repeatedly done this sort of thing in the past, and they'll keep doing it. Haven't we yet learned that the GOP will go to any length, will do anything, and will attack anyone in order to win? Even after stolen elections, Swift Boat attack ads and PlameGate are we still unsure of the ruthless tactics our enemy employs to smear its rivals and win races? Does Kristof genuinely believe that taking the high road will cause the other side to do the same? Can he be that naive?
Republicans must be laughing when Liberals like Kristof get self-righteous. They must be thinking, "we'll just keep playing dirty while the Democrats play the honor card. And while they're basking in their own sanctimony we'll keep kicking their butts at the voting booth."
Kristof is "repulsed by the glee that some Democrats show at the possibility of Karl Rove and Mr. Libby being dragged off in handcuffs." Well, I for one would be downright giddy. Actually, as my friend Alan said, seeing those two carted away would be "absolutely delicious."
The simple fact is this: the Republicans are ruthless, and they do play dirty. And they need to be stopped, however the means. According to Kristof, "It was wrong for prosecutors to cook up borderline and technical indictments during the Clinton administration, and it would be just as wrong today." He certainly is downplaying the gravity of the lying and conspiring that the Bushies have engaged in to cover up their catastrophic failure in Iraq which has killed 2000 soldiers and wounded and maimed tens of thousands of others, not to mention the scores of Iraqis killed. For Kristof to compare this to Bill Clinton's lying about sex with Monica Lewinsky is irresponsible and ignorant at best.
The Republicans are a brutal enemy, and you fight a brutal enemy with the same brutality and aggressiveness or you lose. These days, there's no honor in losing, especially when the costs, as we now know, are so high.
Andy Ostroy, email@example.com, a NYC-based 45-year-old entrepreneur and political commentator, is an aggressive counter to the Bush administration, the Republican Party and the powerful right wing media machine. Our mission is to do whatever possible to help Democrats take back the House and Senate in 2006 and win back the White House in '08.