There are few things that drive partisan Republicans crazier than the Valerie Plame business. The conservative establishment went mad when Libby was indicted, and became even more hysterical when he was convicted. Practically everyone learned their lines to perfection: “No underlying crime! Witch hunt! Lying under oath is just a technicality!”
Of course, this particular dead horse has now risen again to be flogged some more thanks to Scott McClellan’s book that appears to implicate Bush and Cheney directly in the decision to use Plame’s name and then helped in the cover-up. My response was to yawn–of course they were involved. That was the whole point of Libby playing the role of the fall guy; it didn’t make any sense otherwise. For some unknown reason, Huckabee has decided that now, as he is making a play for Iowa, is the time to call for an investigation of Bush and Cheney’s involvement. The Plame-Libby question is a purely insider concern of fairly arcane and tiresome complexity. It is not one that will change popular attitudes about Huckabee, but it seems to me that Huckabee has just invited a round of furious attacks from activists and pundits that he doesn’t need. Expect Fred Thompson, arch-defender of Libby, to try to make some hay out of this.