Before me are three press releases for the recent "Campaign for America's Future" (staged by progressive Democrats) conference announcing the three daily schedules for their mid-June sessions in Washington, D.C., entitled "Take Back America." The Iraq war did not feature at all on the first two days, and popped up briefly as one of the last panels on the last day. In other words, in an election year, the organizers decided to avoid almost entirely any scheduling of political discussion of a war to which about 70 percent of all Americans are opposed, and which is topic A on every newscast and newspaper front page.

There was no spot for the prime Democrat calling for speedy withdrawal, Jack Murtha, on these schedules.

The war grinds on, but the pwog Democrats prefer to talk about other matters, such as the fact that Rove is not going to be indicted. Thank God. The left will have to talk about something else for a change. As a worthy hobbyhorse for the left, the whole Valerie Plame scandal has never made any sense. What was it all about in the first analysis? Outing a CIA employee. What's wrong with that?

Rove has swollen in the left's imagination like a descendant of Pere Ubu, Alfred Jarry's surreal monster. There was no scheme so deviously diabolical but that the hand of Rove could not be detected at work. Actually, the man has always been of middling competence. He makes Dickie Morris look like Cardinal Richelieu. Since Sept. 11, where has the good news been for the administration? It's been a sequence of catastrophes of unexampled protraction. Under Rove's deft hand, George Bush has been maneuvered into one catastrophe after another. Count the tombstones: "Bring It On," "Mission Accomplished," the sale of U.S. port management to Arabs. It was Rove who singlehandedly rescued the antiwar movement last July by advising Bush not to give Cindy Sheehan 15 minutes of face time at his ranch in Crawford.

And when Rove's disastrous hand is wrenched from the steering wheel, it passes to another bugaboo of the left, in the form of Dick Cheney. It was the imbecilic vice president who gave Jack Murtha traction last October when the Democrats were trying to cold shoulder him for calling for instant withdrawal from Iraq. In his wisdom, the draft-dodging Cheney insulted the bemedaled former drill instructor as a clone of Michael Moore and had to apologize three days later.

Rove and Cheney are the White House's answer to Bouvard and Pecuchet, counselors who have driven George Bush into the lowest ratings of any American president. Yet the left remains obsessed with their evil powers. Is there any better testimony to the vacuity and impotence of the endlessly touted "blogosphere," which in mid-June had twin debutante balls in the form of the Yearly Kos convention in Las Vegas and the above-mentioned "Take Back America " folkmoot of "progressive" MoveOn Democrats in Washington, D.C.?

In political terms the blogosphere is like white noise, insistent and meaningless, like the wash of Pacific surf I can hear most days. But MoveOn.Org and Daily Kos have been hailed as the emergent form of modern politics, the target of excited articles in the New York Review of Books.

Beyond raising money swiftly handed over to the gratified veterans of the election industry, both MoveOn and Daily Kos have had zero political effect, except as a demobilizing force. The effect on writers is horrifying. Talented people feel they have produce 400 words of commentary every day, and you can see the lethal consequences on their minds and style, both of which turn rapidly to slush. They glance at the New York Times and rush to their laptops to rewrite what they just read. Hawsers to reality soon fray, and they float off, drifting zeppelins of inanity.

At the Kos convention, if we are to believe -- which I do -- the hilarious reports by Michael J. Smith on our CounterPunch site -- the ugly matter of the war in Iraq was scarcely raised, as the Kosniks reserved the surge of their passion for … Joe Wilson, husband of Valerie Plame.

Meanwhile there are lines around the block for Al Gore's movie about global warming. Can we "take back" the weather? Of course not, unless by pharmaceutical means. The FDA has given final approval to GlaxoSmithKline to launch Wellbutrin XL, to combat "Seasonal Affective Disorder." Is there any good political news? Yes, Jack Murtha says he will challenge Steny Hoyer for the post of Democratic leader, for the 2007/8 Congress. If the Democrats recapture the House, this would be an encouraging prospect. But this is the party that couldn't pick up Duke Cunningham's seat in Southern California, after the Dukester donned his prison overalls.

Alexander Cockburn is coeditor with Jeffrey St. Clair of the muckraking newsletter CounterPunch. He is also co-author of the new book "Dime's Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils," available through To find out more about Alexander Cockburn and read features by other columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at COPYRIGHT 2006 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.