Monday, January 03, 2005

False Betrayal

Powerline is apoplectic that former EPA chief Christine Todd Whitman has the "temerity to impugn the President's re-election victory" in her new book, "It's My Party Too: The Battle for the Heart of the GOP and the Future of America". They write:
Someone should introduce a novel idea into government service: it's actually possible to serve in an administration, and then leave it without writing a tell-all expose about what a wonderful job you tried to do, but how, despite your best efforts, the administration went astray. When a Democrat like Richard Clarke betrays President Bush, that's one thing; when it's done by a Republican, it's unforgivable.

This article is so off base it almost defies a logical rebuttal. First, Richard Clarke isn't a Democrat. He's an independent. Second, perhaps Ms. Whitman actually thinks there are *gasp* things the administration could have done better! Maybe it isn't a vain effort at self-promotion and lucrative book profits. Third, and most importantly, the rhetoric Powerline uses is profoundly disturbing. Whitman "betrayed" Bush and that's "unforgivable." Powerline has taken the Democrats to task (often rightly) for their intolerance of opposing views. But I have yet to see mainstream Democrats label their moderate cohorts as "betrayers" just because they refuse to toe the party line to the letter (instead, they sometimes nominate them for Vice President, as Sen. Lieberman reminds us). Powerline would do well to remember that dissent is a virtue, not a vice, in a free society, and now that the campaign season is over they might also want to try admitting that the Bush administration isn't God's kingdom on earth. If Powerline thinks that the Republican party currently inhabits the perfect ideological terrain--politically, morally, on every issue, position, and controversy--that's their prerogative, but they should realize then that the party only came to its current state because "dissenters" challenged (betrayed?) the 50s-60s Republican orthodoxy of Taft, Eisenhower, and Ford. Seeking to silence those in the GOP with whom they disagree is the greatest gift Powerline can give to the Democratic party. But I for one prefer open political debate to transient political gains.


Anonymous said...

Agreed, the fact that they see Christine Whitman as a "traitor" is almost laughable. Powerline seems to prefer a GOP run government devoid of any checks and balances.

Towering Barbarian said...

Clarke and Whitman are failed politicians. It is natural that the books such creatures write should always be 2 parts rancor to 1 part self-justification. If they were capable of anything else then they wouldn't be failed politicians in the first place. ^_~

N.S.T said...

It isn't so much a partisan objection as it is an objection to such low class behavior. It will be just as stupid when Paul Bremer and George Tenet write tell-alls. Please, people, have a little class, a little respect for the world, and don't leave public service for a career in self-promotion. Richard Clarke, regardless of his registered voting party, was ticked off that he had a lower status in the Bush administration than in the Clinton administration,(Where, incidentally, he did nothing about the coming terrorism)and punished the Bushies for it in his 9/11 commission testimony with that teary-eyed, "we all failed you," grandstanding garbage. Christie Todd Whitman has been voicing the same complaints about a lack of moderation in the GOP forever, even expressing the same sentiments as EPA head, so it isn't as if she's changing her mind and attacking the administration after leaving-- I give her credit for that. Maye, Schraub, if she wanted to complain about things she thought the admin. could do better, she could, "gasp," speak out, or give speeches, or do talk shows, instead of doing something which seems so very much like a blatant attempt at self-promotion and profit-mongering( the very things which, ironically, the Bush White House is always accused of by its critics).