From the No Shit, Sherlock department
The Washington Post brings this to our attention: Ex-Press Aide Writes That Bush Misled U.S. on Iraq. My first reaction to seeing this headline was, this is news? Really? Hey, I got a hot tip: the sky is fucking BLUE, did you know?
But then I read the article, and ah, the sky is actually blue. It’s not just any ex-Bush lackey, it’s Scott McClellan, and he’s writing a book about his former pals at the Frat White House. Are you shocked? No?
The book, coming from a man who was a tight-lipped defender of administration aides and policy, is certain to give fuel to critics of the administration, and McClellan has harsh words for many of his past colleagues. He accuses former White House adviser Karl Rove of misleading him about his role in the CIA case. He describes Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as being deft at deflecting blame, and he calls Vice President Cheney “the magic man” who steered policy behind the scenes while leaving no fingerprints.
Still not convinced? Think that color isn’t actually blue, but maybe periwinkle or some other bullshit color Crayola invented to sell more crayons to crayon-addicted children?
But in a chapter titled “Selling the War,” he alleges that the administration repeatedly shaded the truth and that Bush “managed the crisis in a way that almost guaranteed that the use of force would become the only feasible option.”
“Over that summer of 2002,” he writes, “top Bush aides had outlined a strategy for carefully orchestrating the coming campaign to aggressively sell the war. . . . In the permanent campaign era, it was all about manipulating sources of public opinion to the president’s advantage.”
I’ve been looking up for the past eight years and saying to myself, “Yeah, I think that sky is pretty much blue.” But I might have vision problems! I might need glasses! Is there an optometrist in the house? I have this problem where I read phrases like “orchestrating the coming campaign to aggressively sell the war” and “manipulating sources of public opinion” and my brain interprets them as “lies” and “more lies”. Also, I have this oozing stye…
“The president had promised himself that he would accomplish what his father had failed to do by winning a second term in office,” he writes. “And that meant operating continually in campaign mode: never explaining, never apologizing, never retreating. Unfortunately, that strategy also had less justifiable repercussions: never reflecting, never reconsidering, never compromising. Especially not where Iraq was concerned.”
Wow, Scott. You may actually be right about this. Oh wait– NO SHIT, DUMBASS. We were there, remember? We were there in 2004, when Kerry was labeled a flip-flopper, a waffler, and all those clever insults the Republicans were coming up with. We said things like “But… but… if you find out you’re wrong about something, and you DON’T change your mind, isn’t that, you know, STUPID?” Remember? Uh, Swift Boats! Uh, Frankenstein! Uh, Heinz 57!
Oh, sorry, I forgot. I was supposed to get over that a while ago. So instead here’s something funny from back then; it sure distracted me from beating my head against a wall in 2004. Now it’s almost like nostalgia.
I suppose McClellan’s book will be an eye-opener to SOMEONE, although I don’t know who at this point. I guess the 20% or so who still “approve” of Bush? I’d like to take one of those polls. Seriously. Are they doing it like the Pepsi challenge? Are they covering up both of the choices and saying something like “Which do you think THIS one is, ‘approve’ or ‘disapprove?'”
“Oh gee, well, this one really feels like ‘disapprove’, because you know, he’s a jackass… but it’s so hard to tell!”
What’s funny to me — okay, not so much — is that McClellan is saying all this stuff, they orchestrated this, they orchestrated that, constant campaign mindset, I was deceived, blah blah… but he’s saying that now. After he’s spent 3 years being “deceived” and then about two years writing a book that says “I was totally deceived, and this is how those rotten bastards did it.” But… he still stayed there for three years.
“I could feel something fall out of me into the abyss as each reporter took a turn whacking me,” he writes of the withering criticism he received as the [Valerie Plame story] played out. “It was my reputation crumbling away, bit by bit.”
Poetic. But when you willingly take part in something as shitty and under-handed as the Bush administration has been regarding the war, you don’t get to cry about your reputation anymore. You can, but don’t expect anyone to pat you on the shoulder and tell you it’s okay, little mouthpiece scumbag, it wasn’t your fault. You were deceived! We understand!
The only way I could see this book being shocking or even interesting is if it reveals the late-night drinking games and the bad porno movie nights and the human sacrifices that went on at the frat house after all those pesky press meanies went home for the day. And that wouldn’t really be all that shocking.
And just for the hell of it, what’s Former FORMER White House Press Weasel Ari Fleischer up to these days?
The sky is blue, folks. In other news, bears shit in the woods, the Pope is Catholic, and the best way to “move on” after being part of the most savagely anti-American, belligerent, and embarrassing presidency in U.S. history is to write your fucking memoirs. Instead of, oh, being held accountable for a damn thing. Nah, get a book deal, make some money, shit, boy, this is America. Leave that personal responsibility where you found it.