You could hear Democratic exultation all across Washington yesterday as the party reacted to the guilty verdicts in the trial of Scooter Libby.

Howard Dean, Sen. John KerryJohn Forbes KerryDemocrats have reason to worry after the last presidential debate Overnight Energy: Farmers say EPA reneged on ethanol deal | EPA scrubs senators' quotes from controversial ethanol announcement | Perry unsure if he'll comply with subpoena | John Kerry criticizes lack of climate talk at debate John Kerry calls out lack of climate questions at debate MORE (Mass.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTrump thanks Reid for warning Democrats not to underestimate him Reid warns Democrats not to underestimate Trump Harry Reid predicts Trump, unlike Clinton, won't become more popular because of impeachment MORE (Nev.) — they are only the biggest names to have responded immediately. Clearly the feeling of vindication didn't only belong to Joe WilsonAddison (Joe) Graves WilsonThe Hill Interview: Sanford says Trump GOP doing 'serious brand destruction' GOP lawmaker: 'Dangerous' abuse of Interpol by Russia, China, Venezuela Washington Post fact-checker gives Plame three Pinocchios for Libby claim MORE and Valerie Plame. For Democrats, the trial and verdict delivered what they have craved for so long, an official record and repudiation of how significant a role this administration's political manipulation has played in the Iraq war.
Now they call for President Bush not to pardon Libby, and they may call for further investigation into pre-war intelligence. Pressuring Bush on the subject of the pardon makes a great political story and certainly distracts attention from the looming and politically toxic fight on war funds, but it doesn't bring Democrats closer to a
unified position on how to proceed with changes in war policy. Looking back with oversight hearings and repeating the trial would clearly further erode the nation's already waning confidence in our president and vice president but wouldn't change the situation on the ground in Iraq, where Americans and Iraqis continue dying and the strength of the insurgency remains unchanged.
Democrats shouldn't spend too much time beating up on the already embattled president and vice president who, despite their claims not to read newspapers, are perfectly aware that public support for them reached Nixonian levels a while ago.
Let's hope the Democrats don't want to beat this dead horse too hard. If they do it will really start to stink.