More on Scott McClellan and His New Book
Bush Mob is Like West Wing “Sopranos”
You are inclined to say that Scott McClellan is like the first one out of The Bada Bing Club, scurrying into the light and looking for redemption, except that it has become clear by now that even the hoods from “The Sopranos” would be out of their weight class with George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove.
The shame of McClellan and this new book of his isn’t that it took him this long to develop a conscience or actual convictions about what he says he saw and heard in Bush’s White House, especially in the runup to the war in Iraq.
The shame of this particular White House, the rock from under which McClellan reappears, is that no one is surprised for one minute about the story he tells, no one is shocked, no one is outraged. No matter how fast the book is selling.
One of the ironies of the hysterical reaction, mostly from the media, is that even a watered-down version of the truth about Bush and his lieutenants could sell this big.
For now the real outrage on McClellan comes from inside the White House, not outside. What McClellan does here is make work for them on their way out the door, because for the first time they will be forced to Swift Boat one of their own.
To save what is left of his sniveling reputation, Rove – noted analyst for Fox News – will have to take down one of his own. They all will, now that somebody from their own club is calling them out as criminals for the way they got us into this war.
You can call McClellan any kind of bum and weasel, a mouse who grew up to be a rat. Nobody will stop you. But when you look at the shameful cost of the war in Iraq, the cost of it in all ways, starting with the dead and the wounded, you tell me whether the real bum here is the one writing the book or the ones he is writing about?
“I would not personally participate in a process in which we are misleading the American people,” former White House counselor Dan Bartlett said on the “Today” show yesterday morning, during McClellan’s appearance there.
To the end Bartlett defends an administration as weak and lousy as we have ever had, Nixon’s without the indictments, at least so far. But then Bartlett comes out of a culture where little Scooter Libby, given a get-out-of-jail card by the President, is treated like some kind of an American hero.
It is different with McClellan. They will get him good.
You were unpatriotic if you tried to go against them in the months before the war. You are some kind of traitor if you cross them on it now the way McClellan does.
McClellan, who helped sell this war the way ad companies used to sell cigarettes and now feels real bad about that, knew something long before he wrote a book: You can only sell war the way these people did if you have a willing and eager buyer.
The buyers in this case were the media. Some of them bought the White House’s huckstering on Iraq because they would have bought anything. Some were afraid to speak out against the huckstering because they didn’t want to look soft on terrorism in a post-Sept. 11 America. All fell over themselves getting on board.
The hyenas Bush still has in the media will make this all about disloyalty. They won’t just try to shoot the messenger – McClellan – they will try to shoot him out of a cannon. They will make him the issue. And when they are through with him, he won’t just be a disgruntled former employee, he will be some kind of threat to national security and if you believe him, the terrorists win.
“He can’t back up his story!” they are already yelling about McClellan.
Maybe he can’t back up all of it. But look where the loudest yelling about Scott McClellan, author, comes from, the authors of a war that Frank Rich described in his own best-selling book as “The Greatest Story Ever Sold.”
McClellan is no hero here, or even close. If he believed all these things when he stepped down as Bush’s press secretary, nobody was stopping him from saying something as soon as he was out on Pennsylvania Ave. He said nothing at the time. No money there.
So he is late in the church service finding religion, late having the stomach to tell the truth about the people that he worked with, looks as if he is only doing it to sell a book.
But take a look at the ones coming after him hardest for the story he is selling this time around. It is those for whom he sold the war, and the ones who helped him do it.
The war lovers will declare war on McClellan now. At least this time somebody actually attacked them.