Friday, May 30, 2008


Which is more important? Loyalty or honesty?

The release of the bombshell book What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception by former press secretary Scott McClellan is causing Bush's inner circle to freak out.

McClellan's scathing memoir offers many revelations: Bush relied on propaganda to sell the war, the liberal media was too easy on the Bush administration, and Bush authorized the leak of Valerie Wilson's identity.

In response to these accusations, Karl Rove compared McClellan to a left-wing blogger. This must be a new technique for Rove -- disarming his opponent with an unexpected compliment.

But most White House supporters are resorting to personal attacks. Dana Perino called McClellan "disgruntled." Fran Townsend slammed him with "self-serving, disingenuous, and unprofessional." Pat Buchanan called the memoir an "act of disloyalty."

Disloyalty -- a scathing label either spoken or implied -- at least in the Republican lexicon. The Republican brand of loyalty is what holds them together and has made them strong. However, don't be fooled into thinking that their loyalty is to a cause or an idea. Their loyalty is to the party, the candidates, and their careers.

Because those in power always value loyalty over honesty. A loyal follower is a team-player and an asset. An honest person might become a trouble-maker or a whistle-blower like Scott McClellan.

McClellan told AP News "I felt it was important to step back from my personal affection for the president and take a good hard look at the truth. The truth isn't always pleasant."

And I think the American public always has a right to know the truth from the people who serve them. Honesty should be expected. Loyalty to the people, the constitution and its principles should be demanded. That's the brand of loyalty we need.

1 comment:

Batocchio said...

Good rundown. Authoritarians define loyalty to people, to authority figures, to the group, and not to principles. Whistleblowers in their view are always evil.

What is interesting to me is that McClellan does seem to be have experienced, to some degree, a belated crisis of conscience.