Thursday, May 29, 2008

The long knives are out for McClellan

Scotty's tell-all is creating quite a furor - this morning on Isvestia and Comrades Fox and Friends the panel was in full apoplexy. Co-host Gretchen Carlson was beside herself, screaming about betrayal and crowing that he better hope he has no skeletons in his closet, because they would be exposed now that he has betrayed her president!

Somehow, I doubt that possibility escaped him as he was pouring the gas and striking the match to torch that bridge. He grew up in the rough-and-tumble world of Texas politics. His mother is the former mayor of Austin, and he was a part of the so-called Texas Mafia that ensconced the idiot prince in the oval. He knew where this train was going to go, and bought the ticket anyway.

The Outrage Machine™ started out voluble, and immediately cranked up to eleven. The smear-machine took a minute to get ginned up, but it is making up for lost time.

Dana Perino dismissed the book and it's contents as the payback of a disgruntled former employee.
"Scott, we now know, is disgruntled about his experience at the White House. For those of us who fully supported him, before, during and after he was press secretary, we are puzzled. It is sad -- this is not the Scott we knew." (Joel Achenbach said he keeps waiting for the rest of that last bit..."Because the Scott we know is a dissembling hack who'll say whatever we tell him to say.")

Karl Rove said called him irresponsible and said that the book doesn't sound like the Scott he knows, instead, he "sounds like a left-wing blogger."

Ari Fleischer told NPR's Alex Chadwick yesterday that he was "saddened" and "heartbroken" and this was a side of Scotty they didn't know existed.

Former White House council Dan Bartlett exploded, calling the book "total crap" and saying that the presidents advisers are bewildered by the charges leveled. "It's almost like we're witnessing an out-of-body experience," Bartlett said of McClellan. "We're hearing from a completely different person we didn't have any insight into."

Condi got around to joining the chorus today. "I am not going to comment on a book that I haven't read, but what I will say is that the concern about weapons of mass destruction in Saddam Hussein's Iraq was the fundamental reason." Then she promptly tried to hide behind the petticoats of the international community. They shouldn't have gone along if they had doubts, you see. And the time for speaking up? She says that was 2002 and 2003, and it's too late now.

Kevin Corke on MSNBC reported last night that inside the White House they are furious. McClellan was being called "Benedict" and "traitor" and Corke said that when he raised his eyebrows at "traitor" the person he was talking to snapped that "it is what it is."

At Commentary Magazine, Jennifer Rubin sneered that McClellan was the "hackiest hack of all" - but don't get too excited - she doesn't label any of the other members of the administration as hacks, just Scotty.
Finally, McClellan seems appalled that there was a “propaganda” effort to sell the war. I assume that he is not a total naif and that he did not spend his entire adult career in press relations only now to learn that selling,–i.e., encouraging the public to support your position–is the central facet of his job. If he didn’t get the facts or the facts were wrong or unkown people, from unknowable meetings, lied that is another matter. But throwing around the word “propaganda” is the type of thing people do to sell books and get splashy coverage from the media. (That would be the same media that vilified him for incompetence.) There’s plenty of insightful criticism of the Iraq war’s mismanagement and plenty to learn. It won’t, however, come from this shabby effort.
Apparently Jennifer is cool with being propagandized. Some of us, however, are not cool with it. Besides that, it is illegal for the government to propagandize the American people.

On "360 with Anderson Cooper" last night, Cooper was derisive. "No one resigns anymore. I don't understand. No one stands on principle and resigns. Everyone, I guess, waits to write a book."

And I don't have to tell you that the Übermenschen at the Corner are in a full-on fury.

And then there is Mike Turk - the man who directed the online campaign for bu$h and ¢heney in 2004. Matt Stoller snagged the following comment off of Turk's Twitter feed...

"Feeling for Scott McLellan. Nice getting savaged for saying what everyone knows to be true anyway."

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