Like many of you, I am pleased that Scott McClellan has written a book of memoirs about his days in the White House. It's a good thing when a man can face the darkness of his past, and his association with sociopaths, liars and war criminals. It is reassuring that a man can turn back towards the light of day and tell the truth about the evil he has left behind. I am happy that Bush's former media mouthpiece has stopped drinking the Reich's Bloody Red Kool-Aid, and found enough conscience to admit that lies and deceptions were the stock in trade of his former cronies.
However, we are left disappointed that most of his words come too late to be anything more than validation of what we already know.
At any rate, let's move on and pretend that this is really, what republicans are fond of dismissing as, "old news". Never mind that the suffering continues, and new blood is spilled every day as the fetid fruit of his old lies.
Let's take a look at the newest oral excrement from our Dear Leader.
He was invited by the governor and republicans at Furman University to deliver the commencement address to the new graduates. I'll bet he has a bucketful of personal insight and wisdom to guide the young adults into their uncertain future. A future in the splendid new world full of opportunities made possible by his administration's policies. I don't know what those who can't get a job at Blackwater, Halliburton, or Exxon will do, though.
After the usual banalities, his speech soon went into lecture mode. He brought up responsibility.
"As you move ahead in life, you will find temptations and distractions that can take you off course. You might also find that years may pass before you learn some important truths: that who you are is more important than what you have. And that you have responsibilities to your fellow citizens, your country, your family, and yourself."
I doubt he meant the temptation of launching an unprovoked war for re-election and crony war profiteering. He couldn't have been referring to distraction from the efforts at dealing with Al-Qaeda. Maybe the gigantic deficits and debts he ran up were his responsibilities to his fellow citizens and country. It's probably for our own good. We just don't see it the same way as the Decider sees it.
"A culture of responsibility means serving others. Through the toil of generations and the grace of God, our Nation has been given much, and more and more Americans are recognizing our obligation to help those who have little."
Yes, as long as that obligation isn't in the form of taxes for quality public education, or safety nets like health care and social security.
"You can strengthen our country by showing fiscal discipline in your lives."
I can only imagine the hoots of scorn and laughter erupting at that one.
"... My advice to you is to not dig a financial hole you cannot get out of. Try your best to live within your means. And bear in mind that there are no shortcuts to the American dream."
Good advice if you're not George Bush.
"So my call to those of you entering the business world is to be honest with your shareholders, be truthful with your customers, and give back to the communities in which you live. And all of us have a responsibility to be good stewards of the environment."
And just what does he know about being honest and truthful? This man has cut every government program and regulation that would benefit communities and the environment.
"If you choose a career in public service, maintain the highest ethical standards, bring honor to whatever position you hold, and always put the people you serve ahead of yourself."
This is getting way past knee deep.
"My wish is that you find a partner in life who loves you, challenges you, comforts you, and gives your life meaning."
I'm sure the gay students were heartened by the conservative compassion of the President on this point.
And finally we arrive at George's life experiences that will provide the guidance and inspiration for the new grads.
"In life, there will be many temptations to distract you from your responsibilities. Popular culture can give you the impression that alcohol, drugs, or promiscuity can lead to fulfillment in life. That is an illusion, and I urge you to reject it.
"If you do fall short, know that it is never too late to recover and get back on the right track. There was a time in my life when alcohol competed for my affections, but I found salvation in my family and in my faith. There is no shame in recognizing your failings or getting help if you need it."
So far, so good. I might add power, materialism and wealth to the list of illusions of fulfillment, though. But what do I know?
"The tragedy comes when we fail to take responsibility for our weaknesses and surrender to them."
It would seem that he believes that giving up the bottle eliminated all those pesky weaknesses. He must have seen near perfection in the mirror. His self image was now free from such human failings as hubris, arrogance, calumny, treachery, vanity, selfishness, and a massive bloated ego.
Or could this be the man McClellan saw? "...a leader unable to acknowledge that he got it wrong, and unwilling to grow in office by learning from his mistake -- too stubborn to change and grow."
And, oh yes, there's the little anecdote about Bush's cloak of self deception that kept him so ethically and morally upstanding. Bush was explaining his alleged cocaine use to someone on the phone. “We had some pretty wild parties back in the day,” Mr. McClellan wrote, recounting Mr. Bush’s words, “and I just don’t remember.”
"How can that be? How can someone simply not remember whether or not they used an illegal substance like cocaine?" McClellan says, "the first time when I felt I was witnessing Bush convincing himself to believe something that probably was not true and that, deep down, he knew was not true. . . . In the years to come, as I worked closely with President Bush, I would come to believe that sometimes he convinces himself to believe what suits his needs at the moment."
But, hey, nobody's perfect.