Although I may never have mentioned it on this blog, I'd always thought Fred Thompson would be one of the better, one of the "tougher" candidates the Republicans could run for President. I've been somewhat surprised over the years that he never ran. Until now. Now it appears all but certain that Thompson will enter the race soon, and given the various problems associated with the present leaders of the field, it also seems highly certain that Thompson will vault to the top of the polls when he does so.
Even so, I found Robert Novak's recent gushing over Thompson rather unusual.
First, Novak makes the rather vapid point that Americans feel alienated from Washington, that bumbling, corrupt politicians have rendered Americans cynical, etc. And aside from being mush, it's an odd statement to make, coming as it does from a GOP operative and pundit, given the fact that the GOP has controlled DC for 12 years, and the presidency for the past six.
But then Novak goes on to offer a reason why American feel cynical and why Thompson represents the cure--the (unnecessary and unjust) trial and conviction of Scooter Libby.
He implied at Stamford that Republicans, along with Democrats, are responsible for making Americans cynical. While not spelling this out publicly, he deplores ethical abuses, profligate spending and incompetent management of the Iraq war. He becomes incandescent when considering abysmal CIA and Justice Department performance under the Bush administration. He is enraged by Justice's actions in decisions leading to Scooter Libby's prison sentence.
So, Novak tells us, Thompson would make Americans feel better about their government by...being more partisan and less transparent and accountable. By being even more partisan and less transparent and accountable than George W. Bush.
Yeah, that sounds like the ticket.