My young daughter has the nickname of "parrot' because she has a habit of repeating the last thing that's been said within earshot. A trait that's cute with a toddler is decidedly less so with adults, particularly in political discourse.
Unfortunately, parroting party lines is what passes for 'serious' punditry these days. Always a worrisome thing, it's exploded during the Bush era, like many other negative things.
The Libby affair is just another example. Breast-beating law-and-order types who'll gladly throw away the keys for crackhead welfare queens or three-strike burglars are bending over backwards to justify Libby's special deal. Folks like David Brooks, who were appalled at Clinton's staining the Oval Office, criticize Bush for not going far enough. (Actually, I agree in part. It's one more example of Bush incompetence. Instead of getting the dirty deed done once and for all, he guarantees it will kick around for months as Libby's appeals wend their way through the courts)
One of the many disillusioning developments of the Bush era has been seeing the flock of partisan parrots who can justify anything he does, regardless of heretofore bedrock conservative principles. Of course, there have always been parrots on the Left, which is one of the main reasons I've generally held most left-wing pundits in disdain. What's been shocking has been the same debasement taking hold on the Right. Sure, here and there an Andrew Sullivan, a George Will, a Pat Buchanan or a William F. Buckley have stuck to actual, recognizable conservative principles, but most of the Right have "carried water" (paraphrasing Rush L.) for the Bushies, principles be damned.
At some point the conservatives will rediscover their principles or they will disintegrate into Whig-like irrelevance and fade away as a movement. Partisans without principles should at least be smart enough to placate the public, not stick a finger in its eye.