Well, I've been hearing plenty about Scott McClellan's book, What Happened
. I'm still not sure if I am going to be getting it, but luckily I will have plenty of time to decide that as it pretty much appears to be sold out everywhere. Well, everywhere here anyway.
The outrage from the "right" and Republicans has pretty much been as expected. As is the attempt to dismantle and destroy Scott McClellan personally. You'd think people would be going after some stuff in the book a bit more but that would require reading it and it seems the people who are talking smack about McClellan are so upset with what he wrote that they aren't willing to read the book. Wait...what? That makes no sense. Oh well, politics as usual.
The things I have found interesting are the claims of how McClellan should have resigned if he actually felt the way he did/does. Well, that pretty much follows the idea of, "America, love it or leave it." That kind of thinking is crap in my eyes. Anything worth your actual affection is something worth fighting for in my mind, even if that means you're fighting to make it "better" (and yes, you could be wrong in what your belief is). It's just more "My way or the highway" style of thinking. When you're used to being in power, I can see how people develop that mindset. I think it's crap and it only shows how such individuals learn to buy into their own hype, but I can see how it happens to some people.
So, what I'm wondering at this time then is did McClellan stick it out (staying on staff) in order to fight for what he perceived as being "right" or did he just get caught up in the hype? From what I've seen of his own personal comments it seems to be a mesh of both. Just because you walk away from a job you love and thought mattered and have some harsh things to say about those who were your superiors...it doesn't mean you don't appreciate what they offered and taught you in the past. It doesn't mean you crap all over the time you had with them before. I'm speaking from personal experience on this topic by the way. Similar situation, VERY different weight. In my eyes, and from my experience, you simply just have to draw a line sometimes as to where you've simply done enough and you need to leave and have your say on the way out because you didn't believe you were (or would be) heard before. Not ideal, and maybe not completely "appropriate" but in my mind it does make sense.
Does a book make sense though? That's tough to say. I don't know how McClellan thought his concerns would be handled, or how they were if he presented them. Perhaps that's in the book. I find that I'm pretty much burned out on all these turncoat labels that are being thrown out at him though. If his conscience really did get the better of him and that is the primary reason he wrote the book (I'm sure the offer of money didn't hurt) then all these people who are attacking him could be lining themselves up for some pretty good backlash too. Frankly I'd hope that anyone with a sense of community is willing to at least listen to what he has to say rather than just brush him off because he happened to talk some smack about the current administration (because that's so rare) after being so close to them. Does Bush have the right to feel betrayed? Sure. That doesn't mean jack when weighed against the truth (whatever it may be) in my book though. People make too many excuses for people they are "close" to in this world already. Can you imagine how many crimes, murders, etc. in this world would be solved/avoided if people could put their commitment to community before their commitment to "friends"? I respect the desire to protect those you care about, but there is a point at times when protecting those you care about does/can hurt so many more. Is such a trade appropriate? I'm not asking if it's "easy", I'm asking if it's appropriate.
Finally, a few things for you to look at if you're interested in the book. Check the link above for the Amazon listing and look for the review by "Magic Pete". It's actually a decent review and is written by someone who actually *gasp* read the book! A really interesting article wad written by Peggy Noonan for the Wall Street Journal and its here
. Oh, and if you're interested in reading about Bob Dole's oh-so-fun email to McClellan then check out this
article by Jonathan Martin.
Oh, and McClellan was on The Daily Show
last night. I really hate to say this, but overall I was VERY disappointed in Jon Stewart's questions during the interview. I think he could have asked McClellan so many more things and gotten some informative answers (to some degree) if he just would have accepted McClellan's stance of addressing the problems that came from the behaviors he has seen as opposed to trying to get McClellan to finger the Bush administration as the conscious instigators of their actions (as opposed to being blundering dolts I'd guess). Stewart seemed more like a pundit rather than his sharp witted and intelligent self. Such a shame.
If you've read the book let me know if it's worth a read or not.