Defenders of George W. Bush have settled upon the most outlandish "best defense is a good offense" approach in response to former press secretary Scott McClellan’s damning insider look at the propaganda machine he was a part of. Their responses , as a defense of the adminstration, are an exercise in distraction. However, it may not change the fact that exploiting the gullibility of a large portion of the American public always worked for them before.
In "Rove Hits Back At McClellan: ‘Sounds Like A Left-Wing Blogger'; Perino, Bartlett, Fleischer Pile On" Jason Linkins (Huffington Post HERE) is updating his column with quotes from the Bush minions dismissing the damning descriptions in McClellan’s book and attacking the author. These attacks boil down to a suggestion that, a bit like the quiet serial killer who lived next door, he had a dark side nobody knew about because he seemed so ordinary and nice. Only in Scott’s case it wasn’t a compulsion to maim and dismember, it was disloyalty.
We, the gullible public, are expected to ignore Scott’s book because he broke the loyalty code?
There’s also the unspoken implication that the Scott they know no longer exists because his mind has been either taken over by an alien being, he’s been brainwashed by left wing bloggers, or perhaps he has had a late adult life onset delusional psychosis. One, Ron Christie (on MSNBC), a former Cheney deputy, even used the words "it’s very crazy" and suggests he stayed in the administration so he could later peddle a book.
So McClennan is either mentally ill or greedy, or both.
That all of this is the public relations equivalent of a military aircraft throwing out chaff to confuse enemy missiles. Air Force One presumably has this capacity.
Now with the American people as the jury judging the Bush administration, let’s just see if they’ll buy this "the Devil made him do it" defense.
Hal Brown has been a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist since 1971. He often brings a psychological perspective to his columns.