Not that I entirely buy this theory, mind you. But imagine how things would look if, in the wake of the Libby trial, the Republicans started eating their own.
Datapoint one might be that famous Harriet "Mrs. Fall Guy" Grant quote (which Dana Milbank seems to have backed off of significantly--perhaps Jane isn't the only one who doesn't believe it happened?):
Libby's wife, Harriet Grant, was not as composed. In the first row of spectators, she hunched over and shook. A young member of Libby's defense team put his arm around her shoulders. After judge and jury left, Grant went over to hug her husband with a furious look on her face. Three reporters heard her say what sounded like, "We're gonna [expletive] 'em."
Who, Harriet? Who are you going to fuck? Patrick Fitzgerald and the Democrats? Or those in the Administration who allowed your husband to be the sole fall guy for a concerted plot that included several participants from the White House?
Next, you might see key members of the Republican party offering up information about Karl Rove--Karl Rove! without a subpoena. When state GOP Chairs are offering up this kind of information under no duress, something must be up, though I'm not sure what. But if more and more details pointing to Turdblossom started to become public, I'd really start to wonder what was going on.
Then you might see a weird kabuki, where the White House miscalculated when they should throw over the next Fall Guy, waited so long out of a sense of loyalty that they endangered the crown jewels, little Turdblossom.
But if Robert Novak started printing columns suggesting the Republicans were eating their own, you really might begin to wonder. Don't get me wrong--I still intend to prove, as if there were any question, that Novak is a lying douchebag and probably lied on the stand. And no matter the veracity of this passage, Novak is clearly trying to stir things up among the loyal faithful.
Regarding Libby and Gonzales, unofficial word from the White House is not reassuring. One credible source says the president will never -- not even on the way out of office in January 2009 -- pardon Libby. Another equally good source says the president will never ask Gonzales to resign. That exactly reverses the prevailing Republican opinion in Congress. Bush is alone.
While the prediction that Libby won't be pardoned is probably a big fib, I rather trust the content of this passage:
Republicans in Congress do not trust their president to protect them.
We can say one thing for this President. He has launched civil wars on at least two continents. But whether it's among the Republican party or in Iraq, civil wars are dangerous dangerous times. If the Democrats are smart, they may do well out of this strife. But that doesn't undermine the danger.