« June 2008 »

Memo to Scott McClellan: I SAID, NICE TRY, BITCHCAKES.

Everything I said in November, when I was blissfully ahead of the curve, still fucking stands. So why revisit it? Well, the chattering classes have said a lot of shit about his book (due out today) in the past week, and with all the talk about the book, and all the interviews McClellan's giving, and with what's likely to be a very deferential interview with Scotty on The Daily Show tonight, you may find yourself feeling... sympathetic towards Scott McClellan.

It's understandable. I mean, he's being verbally flayed by the administration, who are making sure words like "disgruntled", "traitor", "betrayal", and "Judas" get out there as often as possible. And he's getting savaged by the press, who are cranky because Scott pointed out in his book that the press rolled over and played dead for Dubya during the march to war and beyond. Against such a backdrop, McClellan can't help but look sympathetic by comparison. But do try to resist.

If you take anything from the McClellan book saga, take this: how much has the idea of coming forward, taking responsibility, admitting mistakes, and speaking truth to power been devalued in the past decade that this guy can be credited with all of these things while saying stuff like... well, ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"I consider him a fundamentally decent person, and I do not believe he or his White House deliberately or consciously sought to deceive the American people." - On Dubya, in his book.

Really, Scott? I mean, you talk about propaganda. You talk about lies. But none of it was deliberate? It just happened by accident, I guess. Lies slipped out, borne of a sincere desire to transform the Middle East into a wellspring of democracy, and if a few pesky aluminum tubes got slandered along the way, well, it wasn't on purpose.

"Over time, as you leave the White House and leave the bubble, you're able to take off your partisan hat and take a clear-eyed look at things." - Interview with the Washington Post.

See? It wasn't Scott's fault. He didn't willingly take the job of lying to the public on the administration's behalf. He was goaded into it, and spent years believing that what he did was right and just, because he was wearing an invisible PARTISAN HAT that controlled his thoughts. The effects of which take years to wear off. That's one hell of a hat.

Never mind his admission that what really pissed him off was the Plame affair, when Karl Rove and Scooter Libby assured him they had nothing to do with the Plame leak, and Scott told us all that, and we (well, the press corps) believed him, and then, whoopsie! Rove and Libby WERE involved. Which means Scott McClellan's moral code essentially boils down to "I'll lie, and I'll pass along your lies knowingly, but I'll be damned if I'll let you lie to me so that I lie to the American public accidentally." Classy.

What, exactly, has this book done? It's provided a brief excuse for certain facts about the Iraq war to get mentioned in big media, I suppose. But that's not a point for McClellan, it's a point against the media, who spent years denying these very facts, and shouldn't have needed a years-late and billions-short memoir to prod them into doing their fucking jobs. It hasn't changed anyone's mind, because at this point, what minds are there to convince? Bush's support is well below even the Crazy Third threshold. He's got seven months left in office, and about the only thing he has left to fuck up is bombing Iran, which this book ain't gonna help stop.

On top of that, if there IS anyone out there who was thinking that all the "Bush lied, people died" stuff was crazy moonbat talk before "What Happened" came out, and now thinks that maybe the whole WMD thing was fishy after all? FUCK YOU. There is an argument to be made that even late, stupid converts are still converts, and we should accept them and pat them on the back and give them their hug and cookie and welcome them to the side of good. But we don't need people that fucking gullible on the side of good, because anyone that gullible will just vote for McCain in November anyway.

If McClellan has honestly had a change of heart, is full of remorse, and wants to atone for his actions as best as he can, then he knows damn well he can't expect absolution from us. And if he's just trying to rehabilitate his image so that he's not tied to the sinking ship of the Bush administration, then he doesn't deserve the absolution to begin with. Either way, we're fully justified in not giving it to him.