Of course, CREW immediately turned over the e-mails to the FBI (which, if I recall correctly, still reports to George Bush), but Levin still insists that CREW's simply having the stuff
would certainly explain the timing of the public release of the information and the well-coordinated campaign now underway to smear the entire Republican party.Never mind that we know for an absolute fact that the Republican leadership had those same e-mails for far longer--and as a result had complete control over the timing of their release or suppression. That, of course, would be introducing reality onto the same stage set they used to fake the Apollo moon landing.
Furthermore, I'll admit to confusion when I try to reconcile these two arguments: (a) Republican leaders reasonably assumed that the first set of (non-graphic) e-mails were just "over-friendly" and (b) Democratic insiders saw the very same e-mails and realized that they had uncovered the Millennium's First Great Political Sex Scandal.
What makes this theory almost believable is its reality-based assumption that Republicans, as a breed, are very, very stupid and that Democrats are very, very astute.
Then, of course, there's another fact just reported by The Hill (via Talking Points Memo):
Longtime Republican was source of e-mailsAnd that's just the headline, spelled out so that even the very, very stupid can understand it. For the very, very astute, there's more detail:
The source who in July gave news media Rep. Mark Foley's (R-Fla.) suspect e-mails to a former House page says the documents came to him from a House GOP aide.So, it looks like Levin & Co. will need a new conspiracy theory. And, right on cue, the ever fey and ever fanciful (and very, very astute) Barney Frank (D-MA) fills us in:
That aide has been a registered Republican since becoming eligible to vote, said the source, who showed The Hill public records supporting his claim.
The same source, who acted as an intermediary between the aide-turned-whistleblower and several news outlets, says the person who shared the documents is no longer employed in the House.
But the whistleblower was a paid GOP staffer when the documents were first given to the media.
Newsweek: What do you think about President Bush's reaction through all this?So there we have it: Republicans (Foley, Hastert, Boehner, the FBI--hell, maybe even Levin) held off on disclosing the e-mails to the public because they knew the scandal would draw attention away from the incompetence and mendacity revealed by Bob Woodward in State of Denial. Then, they would blame the scandal on the Democrats and discuss the matter at press conferences shielded by the children of their constituents. Genius!
Frank: There's not much he can do. They may be happy to get the attention off the Woodward book for a change.
Now that's a conspiracy theory for the very, very astute.
Note: The original version of this post misidentified NRO contributor Mark Levin as NRO contributor Mark Steyn. Hell, who can tell them apart?