Saturday, May 31, 2008

Why did it happen?

While rage continues to spew out of the mouths of Republicans, former White House Press Secretary and author of “What Happened” Scott McClellan makes his rounds on the Mainstream Media circuit.

These events ask some biting questions: Why did McClellan write this book now? Why did he stay in the Bush administration so long if he had serious misgivings about the war in Iraq, Katrina, and other matters? And why haven’t any of these flame-throwing Republicans on Fox News, talk radio, and the blogosphere attempted to refute what McClellan had to say about Iraq?

There could be a number of explanations for the above questions. While Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Reagan, and a slew of others call McClellan everything from a sell-out to a traitor, this writer cannot help but notice no one can say anything back about the claim that propaganda was used to justify the Iraq invasion. To avoid beating a dead horse, I shall refrain from dumping on the president over Katrina, a bureaucratic nightmare that preceded him.

If McClellan’s time in the White House was a confusing one for him, then his 3-year tenure may be excused since he may not have had a completely formed opinion of the events around him. For quite a while I had my own reservations about our involvement in Iraq before I officially considered myself “antiwar.” What McClellan is espousing now is something that more strongly resembles conservative opinions on war: don’t wage war unless it’s necessary. And Iraq was undoubtedly a war of choice.

If this is the way for Mr. McClellan to clear his conscience for something he now mourns, then we should feel grateful for his relieved disposition. If this war is a mistake, as I believe it is, then anyone who feels the same way ought to say so. And as more sources indicate that the Bush administration cherry-picked information to suit their war aims, then more people need to begin opening up to the possibility that the White House version of events is not always the unvarnished truth as the case of McClellan demonstrates.

That nobody can contradict McClellan’s claims speaks loudly. Instead of proving that McClellan is lying, talk radio and other superfluous gasbags repeatedly call the former press secretary a traitor who belongs in the pantheon of Judas, Benedict Arnold, and Catiline. It also leads me to believe that “conservatives” are nothing more than Republican Party cheerleaders and hit men. Many of these people don’t seem to be mad that McClellan should have resigned, but that he has departed from the party and from its titular head, President Bush. They don’t seem to be mad because they think McClellan is lying, but for breaking with their Republican president and for possibly even telling the truth.

Scott McClellan is really a bit player in all of this. He was a barely relevant press secretary who wrote a book about his experiences in Washington while people can still remember his name. Perhaps these so-called conservatives can get back to what being conservative means. After all, the Republicans are merely a political party, but conservatism represents a set of principles and a reliance on the collective wisdom of our ancestors. This writer is more interested in the truth and loyalty to one’s principles than competing to see if he can be the most loyal constituent of my party. Through careful reading and a body of research that expanded past talk radio and Fox News Channel, I came to a belief in the necessity of the Just War theory and the importance of a non-interventionist foreign policy.

Perhaps that is what happened to Mac.

1 comment:

Floyd and Mary Beth Brown said...

nGreat post. Conservatives are too often cheerleaders for the party. The GOP is an collection of political operatives not an organization with a coherant set of ideas.