Back in the day, Monicagate established the gold standard for far-reaching investigations of the executive office. It solidified what DC-insiders and beltway pundits beyond look for in a criminal scandal: we like our prosecutors zealous, our grand juries leakier than an AU iPod Party and our material evidence so tainted that a luminol spray will yield enough luminescence to guide Marine One home.
Things are a lot different this time around. The lupine Ken Starr has been replaced by Patrick Fitzgerald — who we’ve been told has such faultless integrity that it’s like Gary Cooper done come walkin’ out of The Fountainhead. The testimony yielded by this grand jury won’t be like Starr’s — hell, that shit was indistinguishable from a Joe Eszterhas screenplay. And sadly, there’s a distinct lack of bodily secretions, unless of course you count whatever effluvia leached from Kay Bailey Hutchison as her lips and gums and tongue made noises that sounded like she was trying to tell us perjury wasn’t a crime or something.
Still, despite these unsexy deficits, anticipation for the final word from Fitzgerald hasn’t seemed to ebb. In part, it’s because a goodly portion of the politically peeping population wants to see Rove handed his head. Mostly, it’s because the media has just gotten good at geeking us up for the next big thing. Come tomorrow, they won’t be able to wait for the grand jury to come a-wassailing — it’s more likely they’ll shoot their scare-quote wads at the poor schlub who first goes to the microphone to spit “Sibilance” into it.
As of this afternoon, all eyes were on the Boy Genius. But take our advice: when this thing climaxes, don’t linger too long. With Rove, the devil is always in the denouement.