If you lie, lie, lie, lie and lie for a living and then decide later on to tell the truth, you’re still an asshole. If you decide to come clean when everyone already knows the truth anyway, you’re a cowardly asshole.
So former White House flack Scott McClellan says he feels the need to tell “What Happened” in the new memoir of his days with the Bush administration. Big deal, Scotty — we already know: Bush ain’t too bright, Iraq wasn’t behind 9/11, and Saddam Hussein wasn’t plotting to gas us all in our sleep.
Would we have gotten this confessional out of McClellan if the country weren’t mired in a bloody, unending war spearheaded by a president now less popular than crotch rot? No way. Whatever’s compelled McClellan to fess up — guilt, a book deal, pissing off his prick-decessor Ari Fleischer — would have come in handy in those days when he condescendingly bullshitted reporters who stupidly took his every word as gospel.
McClellan says he has “a higher loyalty to the truth” now, two years after leaving his post. Where was that loyalty when he took the job as the biggest liar in the land? Nobody becomes White House press secretary expecting to tell the truth. You’re paid to sell Americans on a president and his policies, duping them when you must. (For shits and giggles, check out the transcript of this “press gaggle” handled by McClellan, then deputy press secretary, a month before the war: Press gaggle, Feb. 10, 2003.)
McClellan can argue all he wants that loyalty to the president was more important than seeking out the truth at the time, but that was the time when the truth mattered most. Imagine how different the world might be, how many lives might have been spared, if more people in power back then had risked everything and spoken up about What Is Happening. But you don’t get brownie points years later for telling Americans they were bamboozled when you were one of the bamboozlers.
“The Iraq war was not necessary,” McClellan says in his book. You’re too late, buddy. You had the mike and you blew it.