BUSHITES ATTACK THEIR OWN MESSENGER

“Self-serving.” “Sad.” “Disingenuous.” “Disgruntled.” “Unprofessional.” These are a few of the carefully-chosen negatives that White House officials are using in an orchestrated media blitz to try to discredit their onetime colleague, Scott McClellan.

“Self-serving.” “Sad.” “Disingenuous.” “Disgruntled.” “Unprofessional.” These are a few of the carefully-chosen negatives that White House officials are using in an orchestrated media blitz to try to discredit their onetime colleague, Scott McClellan.

Scottie, George W’s longtime political ally and former press secretary, has popped the president and his top aides with a stinging, 341-page, confessional. In it, McClellan confirms that Bush regularly engages in self-deception to justify his political ends, that the decision to invade Iraq was “a serious strategic blunder,” that he himself was lied to by Karl Rove concerning the Valerie Plame case, and … well, so much more.

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It’s a hoot to see the Bush team respond in such a blatantly political manner to a book that details how the team approaches everything in a blatantly political manner. The initial wave of personal attacks on McClellan tries to taint him as an ungrateful spoilsport. “We are puzzled,” says one. “Heartbroken,” chimes in another. “This is not the Scott we knew,” clucks Bush’s current press secretary.

Well, I should hope not! The Scott they knew participated in all the ugliness he now acknowledges. And McClellan does not exonerate himself. “I frequently stumbled along the way,” he writes. “I fell short of living up to the kind of public servant I wanted to be.”

But even a small dose of humility is too much for this bunch. McClellan has to know that the people who once called him buddy, and are now merely chiding him, will soon unleash a full-scale personal assault. Karl Rove has already begun, tagging the book as the work of a “left-wing blogger.” How long before Bush’s right-wing apologists swift-boat McClellan, claiming that he’s some craven, alien spawn who never even worked in the White House?

“White House ‘puzzled’ by ex-spokesman’s book bashing Bush,” www.cnn.com, May 28, 2008

“In Ex-Spokesman’s Book, Harsh Words for Bush,” www.nytimes.com, May 28, 2008

“McClellan whacks Bush, White House,” www.news.yahoo.com, May 27, 2008

“Former Bush Spokesman releases highly critical book,” www.statesman.com, May 28, 2008

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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