Washington is a place
utterly without loyalty. It has gotten worse every year since I have
been here. Poor President George W. Bush. Loyal to a fault. His reward?
To be trashed by the likes of former White House Press Secretary Scott
McClellan. Did McClellan have an axe to grind or was he just trying to
set the record straight? He now fancies himself as a historian.
McClellan never was in
the inner circle at the White House. He was, to be honest about it, way
over his head. He resigned – was forced to resign? – when Tony Snow was
brought in to handle that office. Many pundits believed he was forced to resign because of the Valerie Plame issue and the handling of Hurricane Katrina relief. Regardless
of the circumstances, there is little doubt that he is bitter about it
and has taken shots at those he regards as having been responsible for
doing him in. Hence, the gratuitous attacks on Karl Rove, for example.
His technique is interesting. He says what the media already believes;
therefore, the media will assist him mightily in selling his book. As
radio commentator Chris Plante noted, the so-called mainstream media
will carry him forward on its shoulders until it is through with him,
at which point it will throw him under the bus, as it has done with all
of those who have been disloyal to Bush.
Those who worked with
McClellan said he never uttered one word of objection to all the
positions he now claims are so reprehensible. If he had had any
integrity he would have raised his voice while on the job and if he
failed to make any headway he would have resigned. Oh, no. That isn’t
how it is done these days. Instead one appears loyal. One raises no
objection and then one goes off and writes a tell-all book. McClellan
never said that Bush lied to the American public but the media is
extrapolating that from what he did say, which is that Bush didn’t ask
tough questions. I have heard at least half a dozen versions of what
McClellan supposedly said, none of which was exactly what he did say.
This just gives the pious commentators more than they ever could have
hoped for. And this in the midst of a Presidential campaign.
I came from a different
era. If you went to work for someone you did not leak secrets to the
media. You were discreet. Presumably you believed in what the person
for whom you went to work stood for.
I recall in the six
years I worked for the late Senator Gordon L. Allott (R-CO) twice when
I completely disagreed with what he said I told him so. He was very
gracious about it. He sort of debated me on the subjects in contention.
I was satisfied that he had good reason to vote as he did, even though
I still disagreed with him. It was not so serious that I considered
resigning. I was a loyal soldier in the Allott office. Everyone else
who worked there was as well. Were he in the Senate today and he had a
staffer who completely disagreed with him we would be reading about it
in the New York Times.
Then that staffer would collect material and would write a book
suggesting some sort of scandal. It is happening to even the best of
I don’t know how we are
going to continue to get good people to run for office under these
circumstances. As the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished. Don’t
get me wrong. President Bush should be open to criticism like everyone
else. I did not favor this war either. But I didn’t hold a press
conference on the subject. I wrote the President a letter and discussed
my views with some of his people. Once we were there I felt the
President had to be supported. There is a way to handle dissent
decently. But that era has passed.
I hope McClellan is
proud of what he did. I hope he understands how he is being used by the
Bush bashers. I hope he understands that his fame will be short-lived.
He will have had his few minutes of fame. The day will come when he
will be regarded by the same media which now lionizes him as utterly
contemptible. The media will use him but it will recognize someone who
is using it as well. One day long ago this must have been a nice place