The Plame Affair

It looks like things are settling down regarding the Plame affair. The wheels have slowly begun grinding on an FBI investigation that will probably take months, Bush’s buddies are in charge of the investigation, the White House is effectively holding Congressional Republicans in line to stifle calls for an independent investigation, fallout from the affair seems to be quite contained, and the story has dropped out of the headlines in many media outlets.

Even a day or two ago I thought that we’d find out pretty quickly who leaked, that they’d be fired, and that Bush would suffer a noticeable (though probably not enormous) dent in his reputation. The rampant hypocrisy and arrogance that lead to this episode would have to have some sort of effect on the Bush presidency, wouldn’t it?

But now I’m starting to consider another scenario: what if we don’t find out who leaked? What if the investigation takes months, and doesn’t ever uncover the leaker? Is it possible that this disgusting episode of political payback and security manipulation will quickly fade away with little long-term repercussions on the Bush presidency?