Belaboring the Obvious

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

*sigh* Snotty Scotty is leaving...

... trailing scents of flop sweat, despair and defeat. Even his stonewalling had an ennui of hopelessness, and was successful only in that the crack stormtroopers of White House press corps were mostly gazing at the ceiling, wondering what Rove would do to their "access" if any of them asked a pointed follow-up question of the hapless press secretary.

McClellan leaves, and Rove gets a new title in the political office of the White House, maybe the closest thing to truth in advertising that this White House will ever achieve.

And advertising is now all that Bush and Company have left. (In fact, it may be all that they ever had.) In a way, Scotty McPressSecretary has been not just the literal face of the White House, but its Dorian Gray portrait, as well. McClellan channeled the exasperation and irritation and frustrated inarticulateness of his President instead of vaulting above the petty whining just audible from outside the closed door of the Oval Office. The voice of the White House became the voice of the President, and the public went, "ewww."

Now, perhaps, I'm just being way too hard on Scotty and not nearly hard enough on the press corps. Had the press corps actually done its job, Scotty would have been gone so fast that the curtains in his office would still be rippling in the jetwash. By now, most people would be saying, "Scott who?" Yet, McClellan lasted as long as he did because the press never really did gang up on him when he served up whopper after whopper, day after day. His most obvious trait, that of not being able to lie convincingly, never stopped him from lying for his President. The press corps' general toleration of McClellan's mendacity says more about them than it does of the former press secretary.

This White House has an astonishingly bad track record of internal hires, but if they happen to hit it lucky and find an accomplished, convincing and ruthlessly competent liar to fill Scotty's damp socks and shoes, the press corps will be utterly overmatched.


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