Friday, May 30, 2008

Bob Dole's Fantasy

Jonathan Martin of reports an e-mail sent on May 29, 2008 by former Senator (R.-Ks.) and Repub presidential candidate Bob Dole. I repeat these excerpts from the message (confirmed by Dole spokesman Michael Marshall) because they are so entertaining:

There are miserable creatures like you in every administration who don’t have the guts to speak up or quit if there are disagreements with the boss or colleagues. No, your type soaks up the benefits of power, revels in the limelight for years, then quits, and spurred on by greed, cashes in with a scathing critique.

In my nearly 36 years of public service I've known of a few like you. No doubt you will 'clean up' as the liberal anti-Bush press will promote your belated concerns with wild enthusiasm. When the money starts rolling in you should donate it to a worthy cause, something like, 'Biting The Hand That Fed Me.' Another thought is to weasel your way back into the White House if a Democrat is elected. That would provide a good set up for a second book deal in a few years.

(I won't read your book) "because if all these awful things were happening, and perhaps some may have been, you should have spoken up publicly like a man, or quit your cushy, high profile job.

That would have taken integrity and courage but then you would have had credibility and your complaints could have been aired objectively. You’re a hot ticket now but don’t you, deep down, feel like a total ingrate?"

Having no degree or professional experience in abnormal psychology, I can't comment much on the nature of the man behind these attacks. But the issue raised by Dole and others- why didn't he resign?- does remind me of one Cyrus Vance.

Cyrus Vance became President Jimmy Carter's Secretary of State in 1977. He resigned in a letter written to President Carter on April 21, 1980 in protest of the upcoming Operation Eagle Claw. On April 24, 1980 this secret military mission was undertaken to rescue the 53 American hostages held in Tehran, Iran. Eight U.S. servicemen and one Iranian civilian died in the failed venture, which contributed to Carter's defeat by Ronald Wilson Reagan in the 1980 presidential election. The resignation was announced on April 28, 1980.

Wilkipedia's entry for Operation Eagle Claw does not mention Mr. Vance, nor do most Americans remember him. He is little remembered, and less so commemorated, despite- or perhaps because- he had the integrity to resign when he strongly disagreed with a policy decision made by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

So when the Bush Administration apologists, sycophants, and hacks castigate Scott McClellan for failing to "quit your cushy, high profile job" (as if they ever would consider such a courageous act), please remember Cyrus Vance. Someone has to.

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