Friday, May 30, 2008
There appears to be nothing new in this book. It mostly just confirms in the dying days of the Bush administration what was already known by everyone outside the bubble surrounding the man himself.
Its no secret that many people inside the administration thought the Iraq war was stupid and unnecessary. Its hardly new to say that Bush's tone-deaf handling of events like Katrina was self-destructive. There is nothing new in saying that Bush is a bad manager of people and there is nothing new in telling people that Bush was willing to throw good people to the wolves in order to save Libby and Rove.
McClellan issues this disclaimer about Bush: "I do not believe he or his White House deliberately or consciously sought to deceive the American people."
McClellan says Bush's main reason for war always was "an ambitious and idealistic post-9/11 vision of transforming the Middle East through the spread of freedom." But Bush and his advisers made "a marketing choice" to downplay this rationale in favor of one focused on increasingly trumped-up portrayals of the threat posed by the weapons of mass destruction.
If you follow politics closely and objectively you will know both statements are true. In fact, I think everything in McClellan's book is likely true or at least true to his understanding.
McClellan's most devestating claim and the one that has the left foaming at the mouth is that Bush used propaganda to sell the Iraq war. Interesting choice of words Scott. You can call anything you want propaganda. Every politician, every president uses it. The official definition is as follows ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause. Nothing to do with a lie or false:-( Now go back to the first quote above about how Bush never purposely deceived the American public (if you believe that) Scott may have stirred the pot but in reality does the book really add anything?
The simple truth is that George W. Bush has been a disaster as president. His legacy will have been the destruction of the Republican party (which at current may be a good thing?) and the conservative movement. Bush and everything he stands for is totally discredited. This may be a good book for the sake of history? But it will have no effect politically. The handful of dead-enders who cling to Bush are not going to change their minds no matter what.
If you read the book (in full text) and have something to add, please do!