Recently in Scott McClellan Category

The Savaging of Scott McClellan continues. But it is not just the right that is tearing him apart. Several of our own progressive members of Blogstonia appear to be piling on just as righteously. Over at TPM, there are continued posts of Scott's past statements that, by his own recent admission, were misleading and lies. And yet, despite his admissions, he is being ridiculed, mocked, and smeared.

Was David Brock, a man most of us know to have been instrumental in the defamation, and eventual impeachment of Bill Clinton, held to this level of scorn and ridicule? Obviously not, considering his website, Media Matters, is the go-to site for all things propaganda.

Over the last 6 plus years, since the run up to the invasion of Iraq, a nation obviously not capable of mounting any type of attack against us, we have been demanding that the administration acknowledge it's propaganda agenda. Time and again, on blogs and websites across the progressive spectrum, there has been anger and disgust at the lack of honesty and forthrightness.

Now, finally, Scott McClellan steps forward, announces quite loudly, and convincingly, that the Bush administration used propaganda in the run up to the invasion, and what does he receive? Our derision and scorn.

"Where the hell were you back in 2002? Why the hell did you not resign in protest back then?" Here are some links: CampusProgress, The Register-Guardian, MetaFilter, Oliver Willis, All Spin Zone.

Stop. It. Seriously. Stop it right now.

Scott McClellan has stepped forward, just like David Brock, just like Paul O'Neill, just like Richard Clarke. Now, when those three stepped forward, did it make a difference? Did Paul O"Neill's account of the fiasco that is the Bush administration's handling of the economy make things change? Doh! Of course not. Did David Brock's admission of being instrumental in the propaganda machine -- The Mighty Wurlitzer -- of the conservative right result in the failure of the propaganda machine? Do I need to type Doh! again? And do I really need to point out the lack of serious security despite Richard Clarke's admissions? Yeah, I thought not.

Okay, maybe Scott could have done the honorable thing and bowed out earlier. In the end, it would not have mattered one iota. They simply would have filled his position with another mouth piece. Gee, in fact, they've done it twice since he's left.

So, how about instead of bitching about what he didn't do, because it doesn't really matter, and take comfort in what he has done. Because, unlike David, Paul, and Richard, Scott's book, and it's timing, might actually prevent the invasion of Iran. He has become an ally to our cause. How about we accept him?

Besides, if you really want to bitch about someone doing the right thing and preventing this mess, how about you bitch about this. Because, in the end, having a different man as president would have been the only way to prevent the failure that is the Bush administration.
You have to give Scott McClellan credit.  It takes a lot of courage to stand up and publicly announce that you were wrong.  Now, obviously, Scott has not directly said he was wrong.  But Scott is a well-trained press secretary.  He knows that his message will be seen implicitly as stating he was wrong.  Most of the electorate in our country will see that and internalize his admission.

The benefit of Scott's book is that he is setting an example.  One of the cornerstones of recovery, or sobriety, as well as an integral part of Catholicism, is the concept of confession.  Now, the manner of that confession might be argued, with some claiming confession should be personal and private, while others are okay with public confessions.

In Scotty's case, a public confession appears appropriate.  Mostly because the topic of his confession were the lies and manipulation he conveyed for the administration to the public.  But even more to the point, his current actions give courage to others to acknowledge their experience of being pressured by the administration and corporate executives prior to our invasion of Iraq.

Already a highly visible journalist, Jessica Yellin, and a legacy media anchor, Katie Couric, have come forth, as Glenn Greenwald so amply noted at Salon.  And then there's Michael Turk's message posted at Twitter.

Now, a lot of people are questioning Scott's motive for his disclosure at this time. However, his motive is not the issue. What is important is the unintended consequences of his book.  Or maybe not so unintended consequences.  Regardless of Scott's monetary gain with the release of this book it appears to be a public display of personal introspection; a process that hopefully Scott's example indicates has begun in our nation and will spur others to mirror.

Perhaps the collective visceral shock our nation experienced after September 11, 2001 has finally cleared and we are now recognizing the consequences of the Bush administration's knee-jerk reaction.  Often, after a great shock, people have a tendency to lash out in an effort to protect themselves from further hurt.  Unfortunately, that means those people who normally are our support and comfort are driven away.  And when we finally see that consequence, are aware of its damaging effects, it's still difficult to acknowledge -- both to ourselves and to those important in our lives -- our behavior.

Whereas Paul O'Neill and Richard Clarke did come out with books criticizing the Bush administration they never acknowledged or admitted any personal mistakes.  Yes, Richard Clarke did apologize to the families of the victims of September 11, 2001, but only as a surrogate for the Bush administration, not as the man solely responsible for that tragedy.  Also, both of them simply criticized the policies of the administration, they made no moral or ethical charges.

Indeed, Scott's scathing disclosure comes across as an implicit acknowledgment of shared immoral and unethical behavior.  This conveys a spiritual aspect in Scott's action that was missing from all the prior tell-all books released by former administration members.

I think this book will strike a deeper cord in the American electorate than all the past books of former Bush administration officials. It portrays a sense of awakening, of returning to a core set of beliefs. Whereas candidate Bush simply talked the talk about "restoring honor and dignity to the White House" Scott has walked the walk.

Now, to beg the question; is our country awakening and preparing to return to it's core set of beliefs about individual freedom and basic rights? If Scott's book is any indication, we just might be, we just might be.

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