Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Scotty Doesn't Know...

I need to see another memoir from some high-level Bush Administration appointee or commander who writes a revealing and scathing memoir about how everyone else (except the memoir's author, of course) is or was effed up, and that's the reason why the country is a mess, why Katrina was a mess, why we're in Iraq, etc. like I need to be punched in the groin.

Seeing the news media's coverage of the Scott McClellan book today made this dawn on me.

What courage does this take? What courage does it take to shrug your shoulders, point at someone else, and insist that you had no idea what was happening, or that somehow you were the one voice of sanity amidst a sea of madmen? How does L. Paul Bremer take himself seriously when he writes that he didn't understand or approve Coalition Provisional Authority Orders 1 and 2 when he was the goshdarned CPA head!?!?!?

Former legendary House Speaker Sam Rayburn was famous for always saying, "It takes a carpenter to build a barn, but any jackass can come tear it down." That's a phenomenal quote.

I'm impressed by people who take a contrary stand and stick with it. I'm impressed by people who take ownership of the things they're responsible for. I'm impressed by people who open their mouths to say "I got it" and "How can I help?" when they can see that something needs to be fixed, or solved.

But I'm very, very unimpressed by the literary diarrhea (and no, that wasn't meant as bathroom humor) that is coming from the former Bushies, and will probably continue to bombard our libraries and bookstores for the next few years.

What I'm ready for is a memoir to come from someone -- anyone -- who openly and honestly admits fault in a reflective, thoughtful way.

I won't be holding my breath.

I would respect Scott McClellan (or anyone else, for that matter) who resigned his or her job in protest of some policy, action, or behavior of colleagues or superiors. I would respect anyone who spoke out against an injustice or even improper behavior they witnessed.

I even respect Jeannette Rankin for being the "1" who voted the way she did on December 8, 1941. That took guts.

But I don't respect any person -- military, government, private, or wherever -- who goes along to get along, and then leaves to personally profit by reinventing their career with their own rose-tinted glasses while throwing everyone around them under the bus.


Matt said...


I would even give McClellan some credit if he were writing this while Bush's popularity was at an all-time high. But no -- he writes it at the most opportune time.

I generally find loyalty to be an over-rated virtue, but this is just preposterous.

The New Englander said...


Glad you dug -- thx for the post. Good point you made about how easy it is to kick someone when down, or praise when on high. Just on that point alone, it seems like it'd be a lot more gutsy to say something positive on 5/30/08 about the Bush Administration, or anything even remotely less-than-fawning about Barack Obama.

Intereting point about 'loyalty' being overrated. I'd like to think I'm a fan of loyalty in most cases when it means standing up for someone close to you...but definitely not a fan of 'loyalty' if it means loyalty to something like the Kim Jong-Il regime, or to someone like David Koresh.