Wednesday, May 28, 2008

If It Looks Like A Cult And Acts Like A Cult

White House spokesperson, Dana Perino, characterised herself and
the White House as "puzzled" by excerpts just released from former spokesperson Scott McLellan's new book. The question is, why? While this blog has often noted and commented on the alternate reality that seems to envelope 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the allegations in Mr. McLellan's book do not appear to be particularly shocking. It's just that he had the bad taste to confirm them while Mr. Bush happens to still be in office.

Let's see here . . . the president doesn't possess a curious mind . . . check . . . Cheney and Rumsfeld are bad . . . uh-huh . . . Hurricane Katrina was a huge disaster . . . o.k. . . and the administration lied about the Valerie Plame affair. Yep, that pretty much covers most of the highlights.

These topics have been well ruminated on by progressive news sites, written about in blogs such as this one, and mildly covered by the mainstream media. Some of the issues have even been the subject of Congressional hearings and investigations. In other words, they are not exactly unknown to a large portion of the American populace or the greater world for that matter. What should puzzle Ms. Perino is not that Scott McLellan finally fessed up, but that it's taken him so long.

The problem is that everything in the White House is self-referential. If they say something is true, then it is and everyone believes it. In this context, truth isn't so much about what is true as it is a tenet of faith, like creationism and the effectiveness of abstinence only sex education. Those in the Bush administration defend this truth vigorously and wash it down with the Kool-Aid, which makes it infinitely easier to swallow.

It's all part of being in the cult.

Thankfully, as is the way with many cults, once out of their clutches, a former member's ability to grasp reality appears to return. And when that day comes for the currently puzzled Dana Perino, we'll look forward to reading her book.