TOSSING MUD….You know what’s really discouraging about the recent revelations in the Valerie Plame case? The way they’ve united the right in wingnuttery yet again.

Looking around the blogosphere, I see that the right is now engaged in tossing out vast amounts of highly coordinated chaff on points that were debated to death and wrapped up nearly two years ago. Was Valerie Plame really a covert agent? That was a hot topic for a week or two back in 2003, but the answer turned out to be clearly yes. Was dropping her name to Robert Novak just a casual slip of the tongue? No. It was plainly part of a concerted effort to spin the press. The Left Coaster has a more complete list of the junk being trial ballooned this week, along with links to rebuttals.

What’s more, back in 2003 there was at least a small group of conservatives who were outraged by the whole thing. Even Glenn Reynolds managed to limit his disingenuousness to a claim that Plamegate was “too complicated” for him.

But today, now that an actual name has been named, conservative outrage has vanished. Tacitus and Dan Drezner were pretty upset two years ago but now seem to have lost interest. Glenn has gone from faux ignorance to aggressively linking to absurd arguments from bloggers who obviously haven’t followed the case at all. And as Hunter points out, what does former RNC chief Ed Gillespie have to say about all this now that Rove has been implicated? “Abhorrent” was his description in 2003.

When you cut through the crap, this case is simple: a couple of political officials in the Bush White House decided to deliberately and systematically release the name of a covert CIA operative to the press solely in order to score some minor debating points against her husband, a man who had recently embarrassed them in the pages of the New York Times. The rest is just fluff. Either you’re outraged by such a casual attitude toward national security or you aren’t.

I wish more Republicans were acquitting themselves honorably on this question. So far the score on their side is pretty poor.

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