bush critic's retraction fails sniff test
Kevin Raybold doesn't buy former Bush aide John DiIulio's recent recanting of a critical interview in Esquire magazine in which he was critical of the Bush administration. DiIulio was quoted as saying: "There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: complete lack of a policy apparatus. What you've got is everything, and I mean everything, being run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis."
Based on his own words, it seems clear that the original Esquire article captured Dilulio's argument faithfully. If there is any fault here, it lies with Dilulio himself, not Esquire.
That leaves the question of the veracity of his charges. That is harder to judge, as this is a very closed mouthed Administration, and finding out what is going on inside it is very difficult. I do not take Dilulio's retraction seriously, as I find it hard to believe that a man as intelligent and accomplished as Dilulio would write such a long and detailed letter that consisted of nothing but mistakes. More likely, to me, is the notion that Dilulio was made aware of the political damage this could do to Bush - a man he obviously admires - and began damage control. Otherwise, why was his first correction only about two small incidents, and not the entire article?
There have been hints of this before the Esquire article. We know that Bush spends a lot of money - more than Clinton - on polls. [Editor Greg: Remember during the 2000 campaign, how Bush
lied claimed that he didn't rely on polls? I do...] We know that Rove told the Republicans to run on the war. We know that Card defended the timing of the Iraq debate by labeling it a "marketing campaign". These small glimpses into how the Bush Administration works lend credibility to Dilulio's letter.
There is now a growing and credible body of evidence that this Administration is the most political, least willing to work with opponents, Administration of at least my lifetime.
No argument here...