So it turns out Scott McClellan lives on planet Earth after all. You have to love it when Bush insiders tell us what is plainly obvious and it's treated as an amazing revelation:
McClellan calls Vice President Dick Cheney "the magic man" who "always seemed to get his way" and sometimes "simply could not contain his deep-seated certitude, even arrogance, to the detriment of the president."
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was national security adviser earlier in Bush's presidency, "was more interested in figuring out where the president stood and just carrying out his wishes while expending only cursory effort on helping him understand all the considerations and potential consequences" of war. Rice "was somehow able to keep her hands clean, even when the problems related to matters under her direct purview," McClellan says, but he predicts that "history will likely judge her harshly."
And former Bush political guru Karl Rove "always struck me as the kind of person who would be willing, in the heat of battle, to push the envelope to the limit of what is permissible ethically or legally."
And Bush is incurious and stubborn. Shocker.
The revelations are not terribly exciting but the right-wing reaction is humorous. The primary objection appears to be disloyalty. Ari Fleischer was on Larry King saying something to the effect of:
I'm afraid that what Scott doesn't realize is that he may make some temporary friends on the left who will use him and discard him after a few weeks, but he'll lose some long-standing friends on the right.
After Fleischer departed a few more right-wing talking heads came on to make similar points. "But... but... we're friends!" is the prevailing tone of the right-wing response to McClellan's book. As opposed to say "this is flat-out wrong" -- an impossible case to make at this point. Glenn Beck's show was teasing a McClellan segment with a graphic titled "Stop Snitchin'". If McClellan is a snitch doesn't that make the Bush Administration the Crips?
I'm watching Chris Matthews rip into Fleischer for using the exact same talking points that Dana Perino and Dan Bartlett have been using. It's a little late but it's nice to see members of the media (at least on MSNBC) catching on to the fact that ring-wing talking heads robotically recite from the same centrally-managed script.
David Gregory and Mike Allen (from Politico) are bitterly complaining about charges that the press was too deferential, saying those charges come from the left -- which implicitly underscores the point that the "liberal media" is anything but.