Diogenes still looking for an honest man

by Ogi Overman

This was going to be the best Thanksgiving ever. After tuning in to Chris Matthews’ “Hardball” after work last Tuesday and getting the good news, I found myself flitting around the house singing, “Ding dong, the Duh is dead.” And then after watching my hero Keith Olbermann drop the bomb on him during “Countdown” I began making up new lyrics to the “Twelve Duhs of Christmas.” So profound and unbridled was my joy that I even dipped into my Cole Porter songbook for an updated version of “It’s Duh-Lovely.”

I had visions of Sam Ervin and John Dean and Charles Colson and the 18 missing minutes and Deep Throat and all the rest of the Watergate characters dancing in my head. For one evening and part of the next day it was great to be an American again. Faith was restored, life was good. All the president’s men were going down just in time for It’s a Wonderful Life to wash the dark ride of the past seven years away.

Syndicated columnist Eugene Robinson said it best: “Diogenes finally found an honest man in this administration.”

But like he has every single time we thought we had him cornered, he slithered out of it yet again.

And now, like Slim Pickens’ character, Taggert, said in Blazing Saddles, I am duhpressed.”

The truth-teller was to have been former press secretary Scott McClellan, who in a forthcoming book fingered not only Scooter Libby but chief of staff Andy Card, Rove, Cheney and Bush himself as providing him false information on their respective roles in revealing the identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson. As anybody who’s been paying attention would know, the cover-up went all the way to the top, but now we had an eyewitness account, a smoking gun.

But, just as it’s been every other time, we’re left with the inescapable conclusion that there are no honest men in this administration. It’s the old logic 101 exercise: If one were honest he wouldn’t be in this administration; if one were in this administration he wouldn’t be honest.

I’ve lost count of the number of “smoking gun” columns I’ve written since first calling for Bush’s impeachment in August 2001. Let’s see, we had him by the nads after the Downing Street Memo disclosed that he and Cheney were plotting a preemptive war on Iraq as early as the summer of 2002, almost a year before the invasion, and that they would shape the intel to fit the policy. We had proof that he’d broke the law by ignoring the FISA rule in launching his warrantless wiretap, domestic spying program. We presumed (correctly) that ignoring the Geneva Convention by allowing torture of prisoners of war was an impeachable offense. We opined (correctly again) that to suspend habeus corpus was a violation of the US Constitution which he’d sworn to uphold. And those are only the ones off the top of my head; there are others. Many others.

But this was to be the one, the one that could not be ignored, the one that would finally bring down the most corrupt regime in the history of the republic. This was the Watergate-esque scandal that would force Pelosi into reversing her no-impeachment policy and impel the House Judiciary Committee to begin drawing up impeachment proceedings. And they would chronicle the transgression so cowardly and the abuse of power so flagrant that the worst president in the history of presidents would be left no choice but to pull a Nixon and try not to let the door kick him in the ass on the way out of Washington.

Once the ugly trail of deceit and deception were fully revealed, went my jubilant reasoning, Premier Bushcheneyrove would be left no option but to throw themselves on the mercy of the court and hope it would not impose the death penalty. After all, knowingly exposing a CIA operative in time of war is considered treason, and treason is punishable by death.

But no, instead we’re back to square one, back to the cold, hard truth that the Duh dodged another bullet. Our only salvation is that eventually someone’s conscience will get the best of them and they’ll blow the cover off this administration. One by one the dominoes will fall until the full story is told in all its gory detail. It will ultimately unravel just as Watergate; I just hope we live long enough to see it. Unless….

What if our above premise is true, that there is not a single honest man close enough to Deadeye Dick and the Duh’s inner circle to have been privy to the truth? What if this becomes an endless who-killed-Kennedy conspiracy story? What if they really do get way with it for all time?

Jeez, now I’m really duhpressed.

Ogi Overman may be reached at, heard Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. on “The Dusty Dunn Show” on WGOS 1070 AM, and seen on “Triad Today” Fridays at 6:30 a.m. on ABC 45 and Sundays at 10 p.m. on WMYV 48.