By all accounts, the White House is currently bracing for the worst as Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation into who leaked the name of Valerie Plame draws to a close. With word coming out of Fitzgerald’s office yesterday that he has no intention of releasing a report, the options are narrowing as to the outcome. Now we’re left with indictments or an end to the investigation with no criminal indictments and no public disclosure of his findings. For a liberal political junkie, this is exciting news indeed! Just imagine the political scrambling and media feeding frenzy that will ensue, you can almost smell the fear and envision perfectly the mug shots that will undoubtedly be leaked to the press. Imagine television screens across the country tuned in to Republican operatives with their rumpled shirts and sweaty foreheads talking non-stop, desperately trying to spin the indictment of a sitting Vice President as “no big deal”. The news is almost too good to be true, and maybe it is.
Before we run out and buy champagne, clear our calendars and plan impromptu parties to celebrate the big day, let’s stop and take a collective breath. What if we’re reading all the signs wrong? What if we’re about to be caught off guard like many of us were on election night 2004? A sobering thought I know. Maybe we’ve turned the Special Prosecutor into a superhero. Perhaps we’ve pinned all our hopes for the redemption of our country on one lone lawyer. We’re holding one man responsible for finally bring these thugs in the White House to justice. We’ve turned Patrick Fitzgerald into ProsecutorMan! Able to bring down corrupt regimes in a single investigation, to restore democracy with his big brain and miraculous ability to practice law! This is not good.
We can hope for the best, but just like the White House, we should brace for the worst. On that dark night in November 2004, the myth of America was shattered. In the ensuing days, many of us cried and raged as the blinders were ripped from our eyes and we were forced to face the fact that our country had been hijacked and that the means to get it back had been ripped away from the people and handed over to private corporations. For many of us, it took months to become functioning members of society again and once we adjusted to life without our rose colored glasses and learned to live with the distracting peripheral vision we were now forced to see 24/7, we vowed never to put ourselves in that position again. We would now look at America both as it is AND as we want it to be.
Let us hope that Patrick Fitzgerald is able to bring about the beginning of the end of this criminal administration, but if he doesn’t, we will still be okay. History is filled with big names and big events, but real and lasting change is brought about by little people doing little things that when added together create a movement. Moving us toward a better way, toward a more perfect union perhaps. A little outrage never hurt either, so regardless of what the news brings next week, let us remember that we the people still hold the power. The trick is to figure out how to use it. Each of us has a role to play. It’s not up to ProsecutorMan alone.