I’m enjoying watching the suffering of the White House in light of the Scott McClellan book as much as the next guy.
And yet somehow I think we’ve been through this before. In fact, it seems to happen with every presidency. The spokesman for the president or some top employee serves him faithfully for years, through all the lies, the bad policy, the calamity of power, the corruption, the arrogance, and the abuse. Then he bails out and writes a tell-all book and everyone is shocked, shocked that such things could go on in the White House.
Why must we go through this every time for a hundred years? It is a bit absurd because somehow the broader lesson is never learned. We take away from these experiences the lesson that Bush is bad or that Clinton is bad or that Bush senior was no good or that Reagan wasn’t really cutting budgets or that Carter felt out of control or that Ford was clueless or that Nixon was a abusive or that Johnson was really corrupt or that the JFK image thing was a joke and on and on.
Maybe it is time to rethink that whole institution? That is what we do in regular life. I’m a bread baker but if every last time I made bread it came out like a stone and tasted awful, people might begin to suggest that I try some other hobby. So it is with the presidency as we imagine it today. It is unviable. How many times must we re-learn this lesson before something changes?