Whatever virtue there may be to being disciplined and staying on message, that benefit doesn't seem to outweigh the transparent cynicism of robotically concerted campaigns.
Yesterday's White House-defender talking point was to argue that Valerie Plame wasn't really a covert operative, but merely an analyst. That strategy failed miserably because it was directly contrary to the facts as known — she was, in fact, a covert operative.
Today's talking point is to go on the offensive, questioning the character and qualifications of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson. This strategy is failing as well, again due to those annoying facts. Wilson, a career diplomat in Republican and Democratic administrations, had served as an ambassador in Baghdad and in Africa. Who better to investigate a possible Iraqi African connection? The fact that Wilson's service and experience was praised in the highest terms by President George H.W. Bush is also rather inconvenient for people like Instapundit, who are dutifully following their marching orders to smear the man.
It's worth remembering that the White House created this mess in an ill-advised and irresponsible attempt to attack Wilson's credibility. That backfired — in part because Wilson is willing to fight to defend both his country and his wife. So what's their next step? Smear Wilson harder.
Once again, when this administration is headed in the wrong direction, its solution is to go faster.