mild retraction…

Posted on Wednesday 28 May 2008

Okay, I retract my last post’s harshness. It was a gut-reaction. I just remember being so disappointed watching Scott McClellan back in the Valerie Plame days, and the N.S.A. Domestic Spying days, and the Iraq War days, being dumbfounded at what came out of his mouth. As I’ve reviewed my mental images of his Press Secretary days, I recall feeling sorry for him – to have to defend those yokels day after day. But, in my minds eye, I didn’t really feel like the lies were coming directly from him. I guess he was the messenger, maybe the punching bag.

With Tony Snow and Dana Perino, both of whom I’d like to like [but don’t], there’s a dismissiveness and sometimes contemptuousness that makes me feel that they’re part of the club. And I didn’t feel that from Scott McClellan. But that made it harder to hear it from him because I was incensed that he would say what he said. I thought he should have known better. I never expect either Tony Snow or Dana Perino to be candid. They’re in the game.

The reaction of the Administration operatives has been interesting to me:
White House Officals Are ‘Flat Out Angry,’
Calling McClellan ‘Traitor,’ ‘Benedict’

When Scott McClellan resigned as Press Secretary on April 19, 2006, his White House officials colleagues heaped praise on him:
    President Bush: “And I thought he handled his assignment with class, integrity. He really represents the best of his family, our state and our country.” [4/19/06]

    White House Counselor Dan Bartlett: McClellan “served this country and this White House very well during very difficult times.” [On Hardball, 4/19/06]
    Former Press Secretary Ari Fleischer: McClellan enjoyed “the trust and confidence of the president” and “was flawless in his performance, especially when you read the transcripts.” [4/20/06]
Yet news of McClellan’s tell-all book seems to have soured White House officials’ impression of him. Current Press Secretary Dana Perino said McClellan was obviously “disgruntled,” while Fleischer said he was “heartbroken,” and Bartlett called the book “total crap.”

MSNBC’s Kevin Corke reported this afternoon that White House officials, on background, went even further, calling McClellan a “traitor” and likening him to Benedict Arnold. He said the White House was “upset,” substituting that word for a word he said he could not repeat on television:
    CORKE: I have heard on background they are upset. I’m using the word upset because that’s not the word they used, and it is not the word I can say on TV. Another person said they are flat out angry about what transpired here. I heard the word “traitor” and “Benedict.” I think another person said to me, not far from here, it was like a shot to the gut when you are not looking. […]

    O’DONNEL: Quickly Kevin, a White House staffer said to you on background — they used the word “traitor”?
    CORKE: “Traitor.” Absolutely. And I raised my eyebrows, and he said, It is what it is.
One reason I take back my initial venom is that he was clearly "under the spell" back then. Now he seems to have "awakened." Some critics have said something like, "if he felt that way, why did he stay?" implying he didn’t feel that way so what he says now is questionable. That’s how it is with spells. Ask a recovering alcoholic why they didn’t quit. Couldn’t they see what was going on? The answer is always the same. "I didn’t see it then, but I see it now." It’s what being caught up in something feels like.

And as for ‘Traitor’ and ‘Benedict,’ do they really think that people are going to the grave silently. I expect a lot more candid comments from former staffers. The short-sightedness of ‘insiders’ calling McClellan a traitor’ is laughable. Who has been betrayed? The American npeople. Who betrayed us? Messenger Scotty? or was it the whole corrupt lot of them? I know! It was the whole corrupt lot of them.

Is Scotty the John Dean we’ve been waiting for? John Dean was part of the game and converted. I’m not sure Scotty was a part of the game itself, except as the messenger. But he was mighty close, close enough to be a candidate as a ‘whistle blower.’ So maybe my forgiveness in such a short time is suspect. I’d sell my soul [and yours] for a real ‘whistle blower.’ Okay, that’s too much. Better said, we need a ‘whistle blower’ in the worst way. Not just one who makes editorial comments like Cheney is the "magic man." I’m thinking about direct observations like, "on this day, Cheney did such and such."

And as for Dana Perino’s comments – "disgruntled," "not the person we knew before." I recall this same kind of dismissiveness way back when with Paul O’niell and Richard Clarke, implying that they were retaliating because they weren’t promoted or something like that. Scott McClellan left of his own accord. He wasn’t passed over. Sounds like he woke up to the fact that he was a sacrificial lamb, out on a limb. And, that’s what he was. Here’s hope that he’s only the first of many who start a symphony of whistles blowing…
    May 29, 2008 | 4:41 AM

    Of all the people to come forward to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth it’s Scott McClellan. How ironic to have the president’s own press secretary tell the media that they didn’t do their job hard enough. And how moronic of somebody like Ari Fleischer to say that this is not the Scotty I knew and he should have come to me if he had reservations about what was being said and done. Right what part of the corporate world rewards you for telling the truth. I actually think Scott did it for the right reasons when he left the WH and reflected on all the crap he had seen, he had to look inside his soul and tell the truth to the people. He did it and he know that he can live with it. I hope that he is just one of many in the Bush Wh because there are so many who have sold their souls for Bush/Cheney. You can tell the staffers including Bartlet and Fleischer can’t stand Cheney or Libby. Let the confessions begin. Finally the truth will set them free.

    May 29, 2008 | 7:55 AM

    I forgot to add that Scott was asked to leave by the new chief of staff Josh Bolton after the 2006 election.

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