The Corner

Kuo’s Coup

I have never been a big fan of David Kuo’s, but I know serious people who are, so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. And we’ll probably know more after tonight’s 60 Minutes. But I can’t shake the feeling that Kuo’s book fits the model of Dereliction of Duty. Whatever the merits of DoD’s analysis, the fact is that book was launched to bestseller status based on a handful of quotes and one or two anecdotes. The rest was filler one could find a dozen other places. Kuo’s book seems to be based — at least from the advanced buzz — on a couple mostly unattributed quotes from Bush staffers. From these Kuo seems to be building a sweeping indictment. I’m very dubious about all of it.

Indeed, if Kuo is right, it would be nice if some of the liberal handwringing and doomsaying from the Bush’s first term was retracted. After all, in Bush’s first term we were treated to a dizzying panic over the fact that administration officials had — gasp! — prayer meetings in government buildings. And in the 2000 campaign we were informed by countless corners that Bush’s faith was a problem. Now, if Kuo is right, all of that opining and reportage was misplaced and the administration is staffed with a bunch of fakers. Both stories can’t be true, can they?

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