If you’re only going to read one column today, it must be Michael Barone on Joseph Wilson as the new Titus Oates:

“Titus Oates was once a name every schoolboy knew. Oates was the disgraced Church of England clergyman who, in 1678 and 1679, accused various English Catholics of a ’popish plot’ to assassinate King Charles II and take control of the government of England.

“On the basis of the testimony of Oates and a few other similar characters, more than a dozen Catholics were found guilty and executed. Priests were arrested and held indefinitely, and Catholics were excluded from Parliament.

“Then, as the trials went on, it became clear that Oates? detailed charges were all lies. His name became a synonym for liar. Lord Justice Scroggs, who had sentenced several of Oates? targets to death, turned on him: ’I wonder at your impudence that you dare to look a court of justice in the face, after having been made to appear so notorious a villain.’”

Those who are championing Wilson might want to read Barone?s rundown of Wilson?s fibs–and find out what happened to those who allied themselves with Oates.

No, we don?t have a Tower, but we do have voters…