Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Scott McClellan's Plame bombshell

So now former White House press secretary Scott McClellan, in a curious bit of prepublicity for a book that isn't due out until April, says he didn't tell the truth way back when he told reporters that nobody at the White House was involved with leaking the information that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent/employee. And he says five people in the White House -- Rove, Card, Cheney, Libby and the Bushlet himself -- were involved in putting out this misinformation. He doesn't quite come out and say the president was involved in or ordered a cover-up, but it's darned close.

On Chris Matthews' "Hardball" tonight the panelists -- Dan Balz of the WaPo and Yepse of the Des Moines Register -- thought the Republicans would have to start distancing themselves from the president on this one, since they all claim to be devotees of truth and integrity. Also said it would probably benefit non-Washington candidates, especially Obama on the Democratic side.

It was curious to me, however, when they said the Republican likely to benefit here would be Mike Huckabee. I can see his having a reputation as a Washington outsider, but on policy he seems almost like a carbon copy of Bush, and maybe even more of a big-government "conservative." He's an evangelical -- an ordained Baptist minister -- and he stresses he's more "compassionate" than a standard conservative, urging government attention to health care, AIDS, poverty, etc. And he was quite the tax-raiser as governor of Arkansas. I don't think I'll ever understand how it's supposed to be a Christian characteristic to be "compassionate" with other peoples' money, and I don't think Jesus does either.

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