MoDo Has One Of Her Good Days

3 comments June 1st, 2008at 01:53pm Posted by Eli

Yes, more of this and less “Obambi,” please:

So now comes Scott McClellan, once the most loyal of the Texas Bushies, to reveal “What Happened,” as the title of his book promises, to turn W. from a genial, humble, bipartisan good ol’ boy to a delusional, disconnected, arrogant, ideological flop.

Although his analytical skills are extremely limited, the former White House press secretary — Secret Service code name Matrix — takes a stab at illuminating Junior’s bumpy and improbable boomerang journey from family black sheep and famous screw-up back to family black sheep and famous screw-up.

How did W. start out wanting to restore honor and dignity to the White House and end up scraping all the honor and dignity off the White House?


Every gut instinct he had was wildly off the mark and hideously damaging to all concerned.

It seems that if you trust your gut without ever feeding your gut any facts or news or contrary opinions, if you keep your gut on a steady diet of grandiosity, ignorance, sycophants, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, those snap decisions can be ruinous.


In Washington, it is rarely the geopolitical or human consequences that cause people to turn on leaders behaving immorally. The town is far more narcissistic and practical than that.

The people who should be sounding the alarm for democracy’s sake, and the sake of all the young Americans losing lives and limbs, get truly outraged only when they are played for fools and fall guys, when their own reputations are at stake.


McClellan did not realize the value of a favorite maxim — “The truth shall set you free” — until he was hung out to dry by his bosses in the Valerie Plame affair, repeating the lies Karl Rove and Scooter Libby brazenly told him about not being the leakers.

“Clearly,” McClellan says, sounding like the breast-heaving heroine of a Victorian romance, “I had allowed myself to be deceived.” He felt “something fall out of me into the abyss.”

And that was even before “the breaking point,” when he learned the worst about his idol — that the president who had denounced leaks about his warrantless surveillance program, who had promised to fire anyone leaking classified information about Plame, was himself the one who authorized Dick Cheney to let Scooter leak part of the top-secret National Intelligence Estimate.

“Yeah, I did,” Mr. Bush told his sap of a press secretary on Air Force One. His tone, the stunned McClellan said, was “as if discussing something no more important than a baseball score.”

He recalled the first time that he had begun to suspect that W. might be just another dissembling pol: when he overheard his boss, during his 2000 bid, ludicrously telling a supporter that he couldn’t remember, from his wild partying days, if he had tried cocaine.

“He isn’t the kind of person to flat-out lie,” McClellan said, but added, “I was witnessing Bush convincing himself to believe something that probably was not true.” He’d see a lot more of it over the next six years before Bush tearfully booted him out.

MoDo is exactly right.  None of these people (she also mentions Tenet and Powell’s conspicuously late revelations) are motivated by conscience; if they were, they would have resigned and spoken out when they realized that their boss was an amoral lying liar arrogantly leading the country down the path to ruin.

Instead, they waited until they were personally aggrieved and/or saw the potential for dollar signs, thus tainting the credibility of their almost-certainly-truthful revelations.  Instead of being a cry of conscience howled shortly after his “breaking point,” Scottie’s memoir looks more like an exercise in paying back and cashing in, allowing Dubya’s minions to attack his motivations instead of refuting his accusations (except for the sensational but largely irrelevant cocaine story).

Entry Filed under: Bush,Iraq,Media,Politics,Republicans


  • 1. Bill Bradley  |  June 1st, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    I think that Shrub is still only the gray sheep of the family. Neil might be allowed to come back out in public again if it were only the S&L scandal, but I think the room-service prostitutes managed to drag him back down.

  • 2. Cujo359  |  June 1st, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    I find myself agreeing with Steven Porter on this issue – the important question is why the supposed opposition party went along with all this.

    That McClellan, Tenet, and Powell especially should have said what they knew when it might have done some good is obvious. They didn’t, though, as people often don’t in such circumstances. That’s why we have an opposition – they’re motivated to find out this stuff. At least, they would be in a functioning democracy.

    The McClellan revelations have just served to make me more pessimistic about our government in general. If Scottie knew about this, so did others, I’m pretty sure. It seems to be hard to keep a secret in Washington. The system didn’t work, and it continues to not work.

  • 3. Eli  |  June 2nd, 2008 at 12:14 am

    Alas, “Democratic leadership” appears to be an oxymoron…

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