Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

McClellan’s Memoir Reviewed by a Memoirist

Peggy Noonan (yes, that’s twice in one day that I’ve linked to her) reviews Scott McClellan’s book and discovers that though she probably does not like Scott McClellan, she might believe him. She wonders, at any rate, if there isn’t something worthy of consideration in what he says--at least in terms of his larger arguments about and against the administration. Noonan does not defend McClellan from charge that he is a lightweight . . . indeed, she offers irrefutable evidence from his book to support that contention. But I think she is suggesting that some of the themes McClellan takes up are worthy of deeper consideration than McClellan is capable of giving them. Perhaps they should not be dismissed just because they have been embraced by Scott McClellan. And maybe he’s added a bit (even if only a tiny bit) to our ability someday to understand them.

Discussions - 5 Comments

Yeah, history does need more 1st person testimony.

Say, someone like Douglas Feith, whose true insider book tells how the planning for Iraq went down.

Instead, one who is on the periphery is celebrated while one who is one the inside is pretty much ignored.

Why? Hmmm ... maybe because McClellan gives those who want to hate Bush what they want to hear and not the truth.

I don't believe McClellan is disloyal per se. I do believe he is just an opportunist who wants to see his book do well, which it is.

McClellan is both an opportunist and profoundly disloyal. That is self-evident. But your point about the great attention to McClellan and the scant attention to Feith is well-taken. It illustrates the media's lack of integrity. McClellan's pathetic little play for the goodwill of the dishonest liberal media makes his book even more disgusting than it would be in any case.

Of course you're right, Julie, although McClellan does seem to be dumb, speaks in cliches, and didn't really know what was going on. The Feith book deserves more consideration too, and not because Feith's presentation of the road not taken of an Iraq government dominated by "externals" as opposed to the occupation authority should be accepted at face value as an alternative that would have worked. Feith is better in showing that the emphasis on the WMDs was an avoidable mistake, saving the honor of the administration, and even on showing with some objectivity the great strengths and tragic weaknesses of Rumsfeld.

Am I remembering correctly, that James Fallows was an earlier example of this lapdog-with-rabies-ex-flak syndrome? Seem to recall that he wrote an article titled "Jimmy Carter's Pathetic Lies," on the way to a post-White House career of some prominence.

The Philadelphia Inquirer placed McClellan on the front page, but they've yet to mention Feith's book, or review it.

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