Monday, June 02, 2008

Y I H+8 Scott McClellan

Alas, irony. White House Press Secretary Dana Perino calling former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan “sad” is like McClellan calling Perino a “Bush administration whore.” They’re both right, but look who’s talking.

No, Scott didn’t really call Dana a Bush administration whore—not in public, anyway. Dana really did call Scott sad though, and she really is a Bush administration whore.

Dana should have taken it easy on Scott. He’s just the latest in a long line of former Bush liegemen who wrote books so they can make enough money to buy their way out of hell. Dana’s time will come. After her press secretary gig is over and people start calling her out for fibbing about the surge, she’ll get to dwelling on the fate of her immortal soul and boy, will her tune ever change.

Who’d have thought that when we looked back at the succession of Bush press secretaries, Scott McClellan would look like a hapless victim in comparison to his successors? After Scott came Tony Snow, the right wing’s prettiest ever master of silver tongued deviltry, and then Boopsie. We went from nice guy to nice hair to nice rack.

It sounds like nice guy’s new book says some not so nice things about everybody. Scotty reportedly says the Iraq war was sold to the American people with a “sophisticated political propaganda campaign."

Shock. Awe. Make a log entry.

Scotty also supposedly says in the book that the press he manipulated let itself be manipulated too easily. Again: alas, irony. Again: look who’s talking.

I suppose that to be fair to Scotty I should buy his book before I blast him for what his ghostwriter put in it, but I’m not about to buy the little ick-pray’s book. Scotty will have to finance his redemption without me, and it hardly looks like he needs my backing anyway. As of June 2 he had the number one selling book at, and Amazon won’t even have it in stock until June 21. The way things are going, more mouth breathers will buy Scotty’s book than voted for his mouth-breathing ex-boss twice.

I suppose the sins Scotty committed for the Bush administration were venial compared to say, Doug Feith’s, but we’re talking about some serious relative morality here. Every swinging neocon inside or outside of the Bush administration deserves the kind of justice that involves blindfolds and cigarettes. The fact that Scotty’s about to be rolling in dough and not rolling in the hay with a convicted serial killer named Tiny is far, far more fairness than he merits.

Scotty is not, of course, worth genuine hatred. Hating someone, I learned in Catholic grade school, involves fervently hoping that the person burns in perdition for all eternity. Those kinds of decisions are above our pay grade, so why get het up about who in the administration does or doesn’t continue to work for Dick Cheney in the afterlife?

High emotion wasted on these folks distracts us from the real issue we need wrap our arms around. Most of the neocons won’t go to hell: not because they can think tank their way past Saint Peter, but because they won’t die. They’ll just fade into the background until the sun goes down again, and believe you me, when the bad moon rises, they’ll be back. Heck, some of them are walking among us even now, blending in with decent society just like the Stepford Wives or the pod people from Invasion of the Body Snatchers or the aliens from the God awful sci-fi flick with Rowdy Roddy Piper called They Live.

Disavow yourself of the notion that Newt Gingrich has retired to play the role of kindly elder statesman who just wants share his vast experience and help out his fellow Americans in any way he can. The guy’s Vlad Tepes. Just because he didn’t manage to grab all the GOP marbles when Fred Thompson dozed off doesn’t mean we’re safe from him. Take your eye off Newt for a second and he’ll be stalking playgrounds and handing out free Kool Aid to our kids.

The real problem with the likes of Scott McClellan and Doug Feith walking away from the Bush shipwreck not just Scot free but filthy rich sends an unmistakable signal to every potential young Republican in the country: You can be one of the unlimited power rangers and pull whatever illegal, unconstitutional shenanigans you want. All you have to do afterwards is say three Hail Maries, two Our Fathers, have some schmuck write a book for you and boom, the keys to the kingdom are yours on a silver platter.

Don’t imagine that Scooter Libby serves as any kind of deterrent. Scooter’s not swapping spit with a motorcycle enthusiast. Scooter’s doing rich white man’s time, and when he’s done doing it he’ll never have to do an honest day’s work again. The generous folks who paid for Scooter’s defense attorneys will make sure he draws a handsome honorarium as a senior fellow with the American Enterprise Institute. To defray the expense of hiring him on to do nothing, the AEI can make Scooter share an office with John Bolton. They won’t get in each other’s way because neither of them will ever be there. They’ll be on the road, pounding the right wing lunatic lecture circuit, staying in good hotels and charging the single malt and B-girls to the running tab Bill Kristol keeps that Rupert Murdoch picks up for him.

No, Scooter’s not a bad example to the next generation of neocons; he’s a martyr, and if you have to make sacrifices like Scooter did when you grow up, darn the bad luck (heh).

Scooter and Scotty wannabes don’t have to look far for suitable mentors. Neocons have effectively infiltrated America’s institutions of higher learning. Newt has been a college guest lecturer for years. Doug Feith teaches at Columbia University. John Yoo, godfather of the plenary (absolute) executive powers theory, is a professor of law at University of California, Berkley. Bill Kristol is on the faculty at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Mackubin Thomas Owens, co-author of the neocon manifesto Rebuilding America's Defenses, is an associate dean of academics at the U.S. Naval War College. Condoleeza Rice wants to go back to Stanford and teach political science, and Standford will probably lose funding if they don’t let her. Yes, Condi is, was and always will be useless as boobs on a billy goat, but in two years the freshmen at Standard won’t know that.

The neocons have taken their cue from the terrorists and the bugs from Starship Troopers; they’re reproducing faster than anyone can kill them off. We can expect the undead to lurk in the halls of power for the imaginable future, fellow citizens, and I for one have dire concerns that we won’t have enough Van Helsings to handle the caseload.

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes at Pen and Sword . Jeff's novel Bathtub Admirals (Kunati Books) is on sale now.


  1. Anonymous3:50 PM

    You are incorrect. As a Google image search reveals, Dana Perino doesn't really have a nice rack.

    Details, man, details.

  2. Lost in all the discussion on ---- one thing and another --- former General Ricardo Sanchez (When you get fired, are you "former" or "retired"?) has also come out with a new book. It is said to be autobiographical. It is also said to blast this administration's handling of the war, and the case made for it, and provides some insight into the mindset of our Commander in Chief -- when things don't go his way.

    You are right Commander, sooner or later people can't sleep. And even the Hail Mary's don't help.

    Other catharsis is needed.

    We know Scott's mom, down here in Texas. She's unofficially known as Carol McClellan Keaton Rylander Strayhorn. Contrary to some news reports, she isn't a "prominent Republican." She's been - in order - a Democrat - a Republican - and her last political race was for Governor of Texas -- as an Independent. His father, Barr McClellan is interesting. A JFK supporter. He also wrote a book or two. Wiki has information on both.

    If McClellan is serious about donating some of the proceeds of this "get it off the conscience" tell-all, to Iraq war vets, I may spring for a copy.

    Heck there have been so many televised excerpts, no need to buy it now. The libraries will have it soon enough.

  3. Dude,

    You're the only writer who can make me laugh and shiver in horror on the same page. :)

    I'll bet Chalmers Johnson is not thrilled with Yoo teaching at his old school. You just never know what you're getting when you walk into a classroom.

  4. EL,

    Donate some of the proceeds to Iraq war vets--what a cheesy scam to sell more books. Scotty can't possibly give them enough money to make up for the harm he's done them.


    No, college classrooms are dangerous places these days.


  5. Anonymous6:01 PM

    Thanks Jeff,

    The best writing anywhere. Nunya has said it well.

  6. Anon,

    Eye of the beholder, and all that. ;-)

  7. Thanks for the lovely compliment, Chris.

  8. Anonymous6:54 PM

    It was very sincerely meant.

    I am curious what you make of this report: Will Israel Attack Iran’s Nuclear Facilities Before the End of the Bush Administration? Joschka Fischer Argues Yes

    That Fischer is saying it makes it interesting. I suspect more mind games, maybe even an attempt to interfere in US presidential politics. Or could the Israelis really be this freaked out?

  9. G. Gordon Liddy showed the way for all the current Gingriches -- go even more sihthouse rat crazy, and then just keep piling it on. Speaking of that, it's been awhile since Ann Coulter said anything outrageous -- we'll know when her next book is coming when she does, I guess.

    The McClellan approach works, too, and probably is more lucrative, plus it has the added benefit of fewer potentially-violent crazies as followers and fans.

    It's like dine & dash, and the last one left at the table is stuck with the check. Too bad we're it.

  10. LOL, Jeff, yeah, we're it. Unless, of course, Scotty's book makes enough to pay for the Mesopotamia Mistake.

    Liddy. Shudder. Talk about Vlad the Impaler.

  11. They Live was actually a pretty good movie. I mean, just imagine what you might see wandering through a CPAC convention with a pair of those sungalsses. Or the Republican National Convention, for that matter.

    Piper did make a godawful sci-fi flick, though. It was called Hell Comes to Frogtown. Even that had its moments, though. Rowdy Roddy wastes an entire village of neocons, er, mutant talking frogs, whilst winning the heart of Sandahl Bergman. Ah, good times.

  12. I just remember Roddy going from fight to fight in They Live and never taking a shower, and thinking, man, he must smell like a stable.

    Too bad they didn't stick Sandy Bergman in They Live. That would have transformed the flick, IMO.


  13. Anonymous10:41 AM


    I'm sorry, I must take issue with your comparison of Liddy to Vlad Tepes. Mr. Tepes does not deserve to be lumped in with such an odious criminal! ;-)

    BTW, I've been to several of his castles, highly recommended. :-)

    (OT, almost done with the book. NHL playoffs, family emergencies, and my own slow reading...)

  14. WK,

    I tend to agree with you, but figured that Vlad has taken so many shots by now that being compared to Newt is just a drop in the ocean.


  15. Really OT.

    Admiral Fallon gave an interview to CNN this morning. The video is available at their website. I just watched the total 7+ minutes.

    The sound you hear is my jaw dropping.

  16. The sound of one jaw dropping. Thanks for the info. I'm off to CNN, be right back.


  17. EL,

    It looked to me like a lot of non-denial denials. The Petraeus endorsement at the end sounds as genuine as a blue dollar bill.


  18. Anonymous2:18 PM

    Thanks for another great post, Commander!

  19. Anonymous3:59 PM

    Actually, Vlad/Dracula would have as much patience with these Neoconservatives as he did with his Boyars back in the day. Remember that Vlad is something of a hero in Romania, especially now that he's drawing in those tourist dollars both as Vlad The Impaler and Dracula The Vampyr. Vlad was both a populist and a Wallachian nationalist at a time when the principality was being squeezed between Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. The Boyars habitually made and unmade princes--they murdered his father and brother.
    One author has pithily referenced this popularity:

    "The assembly of soldiers
    Shout with people
    'Long live the Impaler!'
    The terrified Boyars jump through the window
    While Dracula drives spikes into the Turkish envoys' heads."

    Another author's description could be construed to describe Dracula's speech to an Neocon Convention:

    "While the courtiers and friends in the hall raised their wine glasses honoring his deeds,

    Dracula pondered on the kind of stakes that would befit them most."

    His campaign bumpersticker could be:

    "DRACULA '08: Why Not The Worst?"

    I'm sure that many of these Neocons would befit from the clearer viewpoint afforded them from atop a stake. And John Yoo would finally realize the fulfillment of his "Unitary Executive" mania--right where the sun don't shine. Well, dammit, a man can dream, can't he?

  20. "Why not the worst?" Oh, man, priceless. Sounds like we have to graft that one on to the McCain campaign.

    PS Thanks, Jeg.

  21. Anonymous11:41 AM

    OT Jeff, just finished Admirals last night. Very well done. I don't want to discuss too much so as to avoid being a spoiler. Did you say I can chat it up on Amazon or Barnes?

  22. WK,

    By all means; any chatting up of the book you can do for me on Amazon, Barnes, etc. will be deeply, deeply appreciated. I'm told that sort of thing is far better for sales than trade reviews.

    I'm so glad you enjoyed the book.


  23. Anonymous2:28 PM

    Will do. I won't ask which character was autobiographical. ;-)

  24. Most people who worked for me would say it was Wild Bill Hitchcock. ;-)

  25. Put on your "thinking" hat, Commander.

    What a guy! Our current Commander in Chief is pushing through a "secret" deal for Iraq.

    No longer a secret. Reported on HuffPost, and in the UK Independent by another one of the Cockburns. This time -- Patrick Cockburn.

    Since he actually spends time in country, he may know what he writes about.

    The scenario is this:

    We declare "victory" and.... not come home. We declare "victory" and stay.... for as long as we need to supply 50 permanent bases.

    This is one of those.. "we don't need to talk to Congress about this..."

    George and his Ambassador, (Crocker) and Al Malaki... can do this by themselves. And, of course your favorite Batman character is the "expeditor."

    In the process, (of getting it done before November) it would give the old guy running for office, a talking point or two.

    It will take decades to clean up the mess, from the last eight years.

  26. BTW -

    I'm still searching the net for a similar story in the NYTimes, WashPo, LATimes, or CNN, or MSNBC.

    Nada, so far.

  27. Anonymous10:39 AM

    Hey Jeff... great piece. I love your description of Dana "Pig Missile" Perino's coming "come to jeebus" moment when she's living the life of a formerly-employed shill.

    Have you seen that Abu Gonzales can't get a job? How many other highly visible members of this criminal enterprise will suffer the same fate when the Obama Administration rolls into town next year? Lot and lots I hope.

  28. All those "out of work" Bushites, will end up in Dallas, at the Bush half-billion dollar Library, and PNAC/Grover Norquist Public Policy Institute.

    Nah! I made up the name, but not the scenario.

    Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) and Will Bunch (Philadelphia Inquirer) also read foreign papers. Both have the Cockburn article.

  29. EL,

    As I'll discuss later today and tomorrow, if McCain wins they'll all be back in government.


  30. Anonymous12:59 PM

    McCain is the proverbial "Iron Fist" with a glass jaw. He's the biggest chameleon in politics who sells out his principles at the drop of a hat. It should be the Democrats banging flip-flops together at their convention this year.

    I remember a "60 Minutes" report on Pentagon waste where they highlighted our Navy base on Bermuda, which serves mostly as a place for cheap vacations for active and retired Navy officers. They interviewed McCain and of course he was suitably outraged. Then they confronted him with the fact that he had taken advantage of the perk too, and he just tried to shrug it off. Typical.

  31. Great conversation, gang. EL, I'm tracking the "victory party" story, let me know what you come up with, I'll have something by tonight or tomorrow.


  32. Anonymous3:37 PM

    Couple of apt quotes for you on McCain:

    "The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons."--Ralph Waldo Emerson

    "The paths of glory lead but to the grave."--Thomas Gray

  33. Anonymous3:47 PM

    This is great commentary. I think Dana Perino has set the women's movement back 15 years. I was very interested in Watergate because of how it changed my thinking in my early 20s. Like you, I did not want to give the criminals a penny for their books; so, I bought them all at used bookstores (which are becoming fewer everyday--sad). However, I did refuse to read one word of Liddy's book, no matter where I got it from. I will, however, buy your book at a regular store. Thanks for the good writing and insights.

  34. Love the quotes, Montag.


    I wouldn't read Liddy's book either. Sick dude,him.

    Hope you enjoy Admirals.