McClellan Comes McClean

Scott McClellan, who acted as the Bush Administration's professional question-ignorer back when we most needed answers, is releasing a new memoir. It's called What Happened and apparently it tells us what we knew all along: that the Bush Administration used spin and propaganda instead of telling the truth. McClellan's Secret Service code name was "Matrix" because his job was "to project the reality the White House wished the world to see, regardless of whether it actually existed."

Most of the commentary on the forthcoming book has focused on McClellan's moral fiber. James Joyner says McClellan "was a Bush confidante, dutifully passed on the administration's talking points, and participated in all the things he's now saying were so awful. So he was either lying to us then or he's lying to us now. Why should we take him at his word? Either a man has integrity or he doesn't."

We'll give you a hint: he was lying to us then. But the pundits' focus on McClellan's character misses the point. If McClellan had refused to mislead the public, someone else would have stepped up to the podium. What really matters is ending this era of Orwellian bullshitting by our leaders. Getting an account of it from the inside-even from a source like McClellan-seems like a good start. To that end, we think the book will be useful.