Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Ryan Lizza on Rove lawyer GB Luskin: "It is a make-or-break moment for the Beltway defense attorney, and one of the reasons that people like Luskin relish such high-profile cases. But Luskin is stumbling out of the gate. Not since William Ginsburg, Monica Lewinsky's hapless first attorney, has a lawyer had such an inept public debut."

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Help us chart the movements of the Rove Slime Machine. Have you seen media attacks on Matt Cooper and/or Patrick Fitzgerald? Other relevant players? Let us know at this special discussion thread. What show? What time? Who's doing the sliming? Just the facts.

Propriety watch: Should the selection of the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court be quarterbacked by a man who is currently the subject of an on-going criminal investigation?

A TPM Reader updates on Rove's last public appearances ...

The Rove appearance in Nebraska was no reporters and not open to the public. The questions were pre-screened and I think limited to questions about Social Security.

He also spoke to WaPo editors and reporters about Social Security recently, I believe immediately after the Newsweek article with Cooper's email came out but before much else came out. Somehow Rove prevented that prestigious publication from asking him ANY questions about his role in the leak scandal.

More to come.

Duce! Duce! RNC releases list of Rove-loyalty pledges from Republican members of Congress. Images of Roman salutes, perhaps of the Chaplin variety, apparently to come.

If you have access to Salon, set aside a few minutes to read this new piece by Sid Blumenthal, which sets out the broad horizon of where the Rove/Plame story is at press, while knocking down much of the standing disinformation. See also the quotes from Kovach about what the Times is up to in this with Judy Miller. This goes to the earlier conversation about just how Miller is involved in this whole matter.

This also makes me think of the issue that, to the White House especially, is probably near the top of the issues on the ballot in 2006, though it probably never will be explicitly: congressional oversight. Having any actual scrutiny on what the administration has done on this stuff would be devastating. Picking through the disinformation in the Roberts Senate Intel report would just be the start.

I was thinking this morning that if I had the right software and better business sense I'd set up one of those cool Internet futures markets, only in this case, the site would sell futures contracts on which day the Rove machine would go after which person involved in this scandal. Clearly, they've been on Wilson for a couple days already. Cooper was the emerging target yesterday. And of course the big enchilada is Fitzgerald himself. When's his day. I Day +1? Who else am I missing?

It didn't escape the notice of the reporters at the Times or the Post today. Never one for subtlety, Rove lawyer Robert "GB" Luskin has started laying the ground work for accusing Matt Cooper of lying about his client. Said Luskin: "Cooper's truthful testimony today will not call into question the accuracy or completeness of anything Rove has previously said to the prosecutor or the grand jury."

No, not subtle.

I think it's only late in the evening, when the email traffic slows and the other distractions fade, that I can really see and marvel at the collosus that is, as Brock calls it, the Republican noise machine, with its ferocity that is only surpassed by its nihilism.

Now we can see in full view what we've seen again and again in recent years, the favored tactic: terror by grand moral inversion, the lie so total and audacious that it almost knocks opponents off their feet.

John Kerry decorated war hero? No, coward and showboat.

We noted yesterday the great article by Josh Green in the Atlantic last year in which Josh chronicled the tactic as Rove practiced it in races he ran down in Alabama in the 1990s. In one state supreme court race his candidate went up against an opponent who'd developed an impeccable reputation on child welfare issues (he was a former family court judge). Once you understand the pattern, the strategy suggests itself. Rove orchestrated a whispering campaign to spread the word that the man was a pedophile. Like I said, audacious.

And so here now. Wilson, a whistleblower administration officials were trying to punish? A whistleblower calling out White House manipulated intelligence during the lead-up to war?

Not at all. Rove was the whistleblower trying to knock down a campaign of disinformation from Joe Wilson. The audacity of it is enough to knock some people off their feet. Like I said, terror by grand moral inversion.

And here we have them on their shows and newsprint boxes, having Plame simultaneously a glorified secretary and also a political operator scheming to upend the president's drive to war by sending her husband on a mission to Niger. What range!

The two words capture it: ferocity and nihilism, feeding off each other.