Fitzmas, Fitzmas Time Is Here

Ken AshfordPlamegate2 Comments

RonK at Next Hurrah has some thoughts about Fitzmas, scheduled (most say) to arrive this week:

The goose is cooked, the ox is gored, the chickens are coming home to roost. The kiddies are giddy with visions of sugarplums, marching frogs, TV specials, seasonal trappings and wrappings piled so deep you can’t find the dog in the living room.

Fitzmas is coming — all holidays rolled into one! The extravagance of Mardi Gras plus Thanksgiving plus Boxing Day plus Purim plus Halloween … the weightier meditations and rededications of 4th of July, Yom Kippur, New Year’s Eve, Good Friday, Memorial Day and Pesach (not to mention St. Swithin’s and Groundhog’s Days, with their traditional over-reading of omens).

Most of us celebrate the shallow Fitzmas, a fireworks-and-mincemeat festival of over-indulgence. Sweet revenge, fat targets, overcooked intelligence. Eat, drink and be merry, tomorrow we diet.

But I beg your indulgence for a note of perspective, a look at the deeper meanings of Fitzmas. Sure, the Big Day looms big … until you look at the monumental developments that surround it. Fitzmas is not the beginning nor the end, just one spike in a sawtooth chain of events that lashed back and wrapped around the ankles of reckless vandals who came to DC to tear the town a new one. (They’ll wish they’d stuck with ordinary hatchets.)

For starters, balance your expectations. Anticipation can bring disappointment, especially if you write too much detail into your Fitzmas Wish List.

  • You don’t know who Fitzgerald will indict. I don’t know. He may not know … yet. A target-rich environment means immense discretion, not just in intensity (what to charge, to what degree, for what penalty) but tactical and even stylistic. Who will he turn against whom, and in what sequence? Public ambush, or slow, crushing constriction? Let them plead out and leave in disgrace, or lay out the whole record in formal court?
  • First-round indictments will not be the last. Fitzmas is the first scouring breach of a system of levees that protected a regime sunk below ethical sea level. The first break leads to more breaks in quick succession, followed by slow, desperate struggles for survival … and for status among the ruins.
  • Things take time. The first trophy kills strike fear into the unindicted, who become more malleable. Rats eagerly spill their guts, taking the story in unexpected directions. Whole new scandals may surface. Defensive facades will crumble as reliable retainers desert their posts, and a new generation of prosecutors, journalists and politicians gets the hang of the enterprise.
  • Remember, too, the Joys of Fitzmas could be followed by the agonies of a Saturday Night Massacre or a Parade of Presidential Pardons.

Again, balance. Let’s not obsess on the Plame outing. They nailed Al Capone for tax evasion, but there are bigger crimes afoot. Burning a CIA NOC is only the tip of just one iceberg in a sea of troubles. America has been done real and enduring harm, on monumental scale, and the Plame Affair is a flyspeck in a shitstorm.

Fair enough.