"On Monday we learned that in a forthcoming Esquire story John DiIulio, former Bush director of the White House Office Of Faith-based and Community
Initiatives, says that politics, not policy run the Bush White House, that speeches come first and policy is hastily and sketchily constructed later,
that Bush is kept on the short leash of far right preconceptions of the world that often don't jibe with reality, and that fear of Karl Rove prevents
staffers from providing him with news from the real world that might contradict his extreme, conservative vision.
In DiIulio's words, "there is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: complete lack of a policy apparatus.Besides
the tax cut, which was cut and dried during the campaign, and the education bill, which was really a Ted Kennedy bill, the administration has not done
much, either in absolute terms or in comparison to previous administrations at this stage, on domestic policy. What you've got is everything, and I
mean everything, being run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis. [They] consistently talked and acted as if the height
of political sophistication consisted in reducing every issue to its simplest black-and-white terms for public consumption, then steering legislative
initiatives or policy proposals as far right as possible." The former White House director confides, "I heard many, many staff discussions but not
three meaningful, substantive policy discussions. There were no actual policy white papers on domestic issues. There were, truth be told, only a
couple of people in the West Wing who worried at all about policy substance and analysis ... Every modern presidency moves on the fly, but on social
policy and related issues, the lack of even basic policy knowledge, and the only casual interest in knowing more, was somewhat breathtaking:
discussions by fairly senior people who meant Medicaid but were talking Medicare; near-instant shifts from discussing any actual policy pros and cons
to discussing political communications, media strategy, et cetera ." DiIulio goes on to tell us that "the remarkably slapdash character of the
Office of Homeland Security, with the nine months of arguing that no department was needed, with the sudden, politically timed reversal in June, and
with the fact that not even that issue, the most significant reorganization of the federal government since the creation of the Department of Defense,
has received more than talking-points-caliber deliberation."
That was Monday. By Tuesday, with more media coverage than the original story, DiIulio recanted, sounding like a disgraced Russian official in a
Stalinist novel: "My criticisms were groundless and baseless due to poorly chosen words and examples. I sincerely apologize and I am deeply
remorseful. I will not be offering any further comment, or speaking or writing further on any aspect of my limited and unrepresentative White House
experience or any matters or persons related thereto. I regret any and all misimpressions. In this season of fellowship and forgiveness, I pray the
same." The Washington Times reported that "an aide at the University of Pennsylvania, where Mr. DiIulio is a professor, said he had taken sick leave
and could not be reached for comment." Both the WT and the AP reported that DiIulio used words similiar to the White House's earlier denial of the
former White House director's allegations. We hope that Mr. DiIulio gets well soon.
Later Tuesday, Esquire reporter Ron Suskind not only stood by what DiIulio was quoted as saying in the Esquire piece, but his magazine also released a
lengthy e-mail written by DiIulio to Suskind in which the above quotes and much, much more may be read. The letter clearly indicates that it is "on
the record." Of course, we're not really surprised by DiIulio's criticisms in the letter, but it does confirm what we knew or assumed all along.
We're not even surprised by how quickly the White House was able to get DiIulio to "pray" for forgiveness for sharing his rationale thoughts with
the public. What we are surprised about, however, is how long it's taking our American citizens to understand how dangerous and extreme Bush and his
administration are." --Jerry Politex, 12.04.02
I nearly vomit every time Ari Fleisher opens his mouth; what are your comments on this verification from an insider that the Bush White House is run
by polls & slogans and not policy and that they are SS-caliber in making dissent go bye-bye?