Saturday, April 03, 2004

The diminishing value of loyalty in the Bush White House

One of the things that I think has been overlooked lately is how the White House's capitulation to let Condoleezza Rice testify before the 9/11 commission represents a huge change in the value of loyalty in the Bush administration.

There's been more than enough written about what happens to anyone who turns on the White House. That list is long and growing -- John DiIulio, Larry Lindsey, Gen. Eric Shinseki and, most recently, Richard Clarke. The lesson for all of these folks and more was simple -- criticize the Bushies, and get stomped.

But this latest Condi Rice development changes all of this, and I mean big time. As numerous articles have pointed out, Rice has been nothing but fanatically loyal to her bosses, almost nauseatingly so, saying the most transparently idiotic and dishonest things in public as long as it protected the administration.

So it has to come as a bit of a shock for that same administration to suddenly announce that, sure, she'll testify -- under oath -- in front of the 9/11 commission after all. If Rice has any sense left, she'll realize that she's just been played for a complete patsy this whole time, and that all of her unswerving devotion didn't stop her from being pushed off the sled.

Others at the White House should start feeling really afraid right about now.

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