If you read right-wing blogs, you've probably encountered a lot of breathless speculation about the authorship of the memo, attributed to Senate Republicans, that described the Terri Schiavo case as "a great political issue." Powerline's Hindrocket has been out front on this one, starting on March 21, when he wrote: "I question its authenticity. It does not sound like something written by a conservative; it sounds like a liberal fantasy of how conservatives talk. What conservative would write that the case of a woman condemned to death by starvation is "a great political issue"? Maybe such a person exists, but I doubt it." Two days later, the possibility "that the memo is a Democratic dirty trick" "looks most likely". Later posts have quotes like these: "the apparently fake "GOP talking points memo" that Democratic aides circulated last week" (cite), "there are excellent reasons to believe it is a hoax perpetrated by still-unidentified Democrats" (cite), "Someone at the Post swallowed the fake memo hook, line, and sinker" cite), "The Washington Post isn't the perpetrator of the underlying offense here, but it is in the middle of its own Watergate-style cover-up" (cite), a post whose title is: "Answer: Yes", which begins: "Brian DeBoseand Stephen Dinan ask in today's Washington Times; "Was the Schiavo memo a fake?" ", and, in an article in the Daily Standard, this: "A reasonable conclusion would be that the "talking points memo" might be a fake, created by Democrats to cast aspersions on the motives of the Republican leadership. Every Republican who has been asked about the memo has denied knowing anything about it. Unless someone talks--at a minimum, identifying the Democratic aides who distributed the memo on March 17--we likely will never know who, exactly, created it." I could have pulled more quotes like these from Hindrocket's dozen or so posts on this topic, but you get the general idea.
Personally, I think it's generally a mistake to jump to conclusions.
From tomorrow's Washington Post:
"The legal counsel to Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) admitted yesterday that he was the author of a memo citing the political advantage to Republicans of intervening in the case of Terri Schiavo, the senator said in an interview last night.
Brian Darling, a former lobbyist for the Alexander Strategy Group on gun rights and other issues, offered his resignation and it was immediately accepted, Martinez said.
Martinez said he earlier had been assured by aides that his office had nothing to do with producing the memo. "I never did an investigation, as such," he said. "I just took it for granted that we wouldn't be that stupid. It was never my intention to in any way politicize this issue." "