… they called Deep Throat. So there he was, Bush, before our very eyes. Well, on our television screens. The fearsome Deep Throat in person, who brought about the downfall of a President and his administration. Mark Felt. He actually looked better as played by Hal Holbrook, in the movie. A little, bent old man with curly white hair, grinning and waving from his doorway for the rapidly assembling world media.
What a thrill! What a let-down! As always, the secret was a whole lot more fun than the reality. Amazing, really, given how readily the truth gets leaked in Washington, how long this particular secret had been kept. The guy finally outed himself. He had been sitting on this thing for thirty years, confused between the satisfaction of having done what he believed he had to do, and all the shame, and guilt, and sense of betrayal that went along with it. (I had to laugh, this morning, to watch Pat Buchanan in prime indignation mode, huffing and puffing away as he claimed that "all [Felt] did was betray an enormously popular President." No, Pat. All he did was stick to his principles, and those of the FBI.)
Remember Watergate, Bush? Or was that still in the days of your youthful exuberance, when by your own admission you saw everything through the haze of alcohol? I believe you do remember that national travesty, though, and that you learned from it. For us, out here, it was an exciting and excruciating spectator sport, with little dribs and drabs of tantalizing insight thrown our way from day to day--for years, it seemed, until the puzzle came to fit together. For those of us who were convinced of Nixon's infamy from the start--this was all about winning an election, remember, Bush? Ring a bell?--the Watergate hearings and the impeachment proceedings were grand American opera. So much grander, with so much more of contitutional significance at stake than that tawdry business, twenty years later, of the Clinton impeachment, when it was all about a blow-job! How petty, malicious, puritanical, and vengeful your Republican posse seemed, a bunch of yapping chihuahuas at the heels of a woolly, lumbering St. Bernard.
Anyway, what I believe you learned from Watergate was your obsession with secrecy, and fierce loyalty to yourself and your cause. I've heard it said frequently in the press--and I believe--that yours is the most secretive administration in history. Successfully so, it seems, for the most part. I hear you're still balking over providing U.S. Senators with those papers they have been requesting for months now, relevant to their hearings on the nomination of your Bolton. Hatches are battened everywhere. What might we not learn from some future Deep Throat, Bush? About our laughably absent energy policy? About 9/11? About the decision to go to war in Iraq? About torture and rendition? We shudder to think, Bush, what goes on behind the closed doors and shuttered windows of your White House. And it's supposed to be our White House, remember?