Saturday, May 31, 2008

Miserable Creatures

I have a certain, tiny bit of sympathy for ole Scott McClellen. It is easy to look at him and his new book, in which he reveals the dishonesty and propoganda perpetrated by the Bush administration, and think that if it were you in that position of power, you would have done the right thing and exposed it then. In many ways, Bob Dole gets it exactly right in his email to Scott:

"There are miserable creatures like you in every administration who don't have the guts to speak up or quit if there are disagreements with the boss or colleagues. No, your type soaks up the benefits of power, revels in the limelight for years, then quits, and spurred on by greed, cashes in with a scathing critique."

Maybe he was caught up and has had his eyes opened, and has the interests of the country at heart now. But indeed, while the book reveals a lot about the Bush administration, it also reveals a lot about Scott himself. He was on CNN talking to Anderson Cooper about the whole thing, and he said several times that he is hoping his book will usher in a "new kind of politics" and shut down the partisan divide. Is he going to vote for Obama? He sounds a lot like him when he talks like that.

What gets me the most about this discussion, and political discussions in general, is how quickly rhetoric and talking points emerge as the important thing. Regarding Iraq, everyone talks about the mistakes, the what-we-have-to-do-now, the good of taking out Sadaam Hussein, and what we were trying to do versus what happened. Bush and company and even Scott McClellen in his "scathing critique" never really get around to admitting that people are dead because of this dishonesty -- Americans and Iraqis. It is very abstract to us over here, with our economy in shambles and yet still in the relative comfort of sea to shining sea.

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