"slime and defend"
The Bush administration pursued a two-track political strategy on Wednesday to minimize the damage from the criminal investigation into the disclosure of a C.I.A. officer's identity.
The White House encouraged Republicans to portray the former diplomat at the center of the case, Joseph C. Wilson IV, as a partisan Democrat with an agenda and the Democratic Party as scandalmongering. At the same time, the administration and the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill worked to ensure that no Republicans in Congress break ranks and call for an independent inquiry outside the direct control of the Justice Department.
"It's slime and defend," said one Republican aide on Capitol Hill, describing the White House's effort to raise questions about Mr. Wilson's motivations and its simultaneous effort to shore up support in the Republican ranks.
In other words, in order to fight allegations that they slimed a critic of the administration, the Bushies are adopting a strategy of ... sliming a critic of the administration.
What was that saying about not learning from the past?