Ragged Clown

It's just a shadow you're seeing that he's chasing…


I am resigning on a matter of principle

Since early 2003, I have expected that the Bushies would be brought down by someone within the administration who was nauseated by the lies and the manipulation who would quit in a fit of righteousness. I thought it would be Powell. Or maybe Whitman. Or maybe the Republican Congress would declare Enough! Or the so-called conservative voters would say hey! wtf? Or Perle would say I knew they were cynical and corrupt, I don’t know they were bozos (or Wolfowitz or Bolton or Yoo or Garner or Bremer). Or the so-called conservative commentators would say hey! that’s not very conservative! Or the Main Stream Media would get bored with their he said she said bullshit and say hey! these people are liars!

I was close.

The Bushes weren’t brought down at all. No one quit. No one was righteous. Powell stayed quiet (Whitman whined a little bit as did Perle and Bremer). The Republican Congress didn’t wonder whether the brand might be damaged until the brand was in the toilet and they were no longer the Republican Congress. The so-called conservative voters kept voting for them and so-called conservative commentators kept cheering for them (except Andrew Sullivan). The Main Stream Media still continues with its on the other hand bullshit (although they do try to sneak in the occasional a member of the administration said X but there appears to be some evidence that Not X).

But finally. Finally! Finally, Scott McClellan has had enough. Several years after he was fired, he has fessed up that no, he wasn’t very happy at all. Disgruntled even.

The New Republic takes a humorous run at how his resignation speech might have sounded if he had realized that he was disgruntled at the time.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 1, 2005–Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, yesterday became the first senior official to quit in protest over President Bush’s handling of Hurricane Katrina.

At a hastily assembled press conference, McClellan said that Bush “spent most of the [past] week in a state of denial.

“One of the worst disasters in our nation’s history became one of the biggest disasters in Bush’s presidency,” he continued. “Katrina and the botched federal response to it [will] largely come to define Bush’s second term.”


WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2002–Hours before a scheduled Congressional vote that would authorize President Bush to use force against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, a top aide to President Bush has criticized his own administration for what he says is a scheme to manipulate the nation into war.

“Over [this past summer],” McClellan said in an interview shortly after his resignation yesterday, “top Bush aides had outlined a strategy for carefully orchestrating the coming campaign to aggressively sell the war. … In the permanent campaign era, it was all about manipulating sources of public opinion to the president’s advantage.”

In an unusual display of dissent from an ordinarily disciplined administration, McClellan said the president had “managed the crisis in a way that almost guaranteed that the use of force would become the only feasible option.” He called the effort a “political propaganda campaign.”

as well as

Asked in an interview about the timing of his announcement, just days before the election, McClellan said he wanted to share his opinions now, when voters can act on them. He said he was not the sort of person who would wait years for a book contract before airing dirty laundry.*

and lots more like that at The New Republic.

Of course, those are all actual quotes from Scott McClellan’s book (written years after the opportunity for voters to act on them had passed).

I have two wishes.

  1. I wish I had kept all those *political email debates with my friends about the ethics of the Bush administration during the Scott McClellan era.
  2. I wish I had a TV so I could watch Jon Stewart.

* Oh! Wait! I did!

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4 responses to I am resigning on a matter of principle

Kevin May 29, 2008

The comments at TNR are pretty good. I am posting one here and will pretend it’s my comment:

Remember the “Saturday Night Massacre” during Watergate? Archibald Cox, the Special Prosecutor, (BTW, a staunch Republican) was pursuing the investigation too completely, so Nixon instructed Elliott Richardson, the Attorney General, to fire him. Richardson resigned rather than do so. The Assistant Attorney General, Richard Kleindienst also resigned and was dismissed. The third in line at Justice, Robert Bork (later to become famous for being rejected as a Supreme Court Justice) fired Cox and carried out Nixon’s oreder to abolish the office of Special Prosecutor. This whole episode lead to Nixon’s eventual resignation. Thank God for honorable men like Cox, Richardson and Kleindienst, who risked everything to defy the most powerful man in the world. Shame on Robert Bork for “following orders”. During all of this, Ron Ziegler, the WH Press Secretary, continued to put a happy face on the entire mess. History will show that Scotty McClelland and Ari Fliescher and Tony Snow and Dana Perino share the same shameful pedigree as Ron Ziegler and Robert Bork. I guess McClelland’s revelations are better late than never, but consider the course of history if Elliott Richardson had not had the courage to stand up to Nixon or if McClelland had mustered the same courage before we invaded Iraq!

Tom Kirkley May 30, 2008

I will grant you one of your wishes…

You can watch ANY episode, past or future, of The Daily Show…online:

And “yes, you CAN watch the future episodes” (like next Monday’s, June 2, show with Scott McClellan!) but you just have to wait a bit (like until Monday). 🙂

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