The “Loyalty” of Ass-Kissers, Bootlickers, Brownnosers, Butt Boys, Sycophants, Toadies,

Brian Zick

The New York Times editorial on the Bush administration's coterie of lickspittles and flunkies is titled "Their Master’s Voice": The president is still standing by his man, ignoring Mr. Gonzales’s efforts to mislead Congress, his disregard for the Constitution and his gross neglect of even basic bureaucratic duties.It’s a familiar pattern: Mr. Bush sticks by his most trusted aides no matter how evident it is — even to the Republican Congressional chorus — that they are guilty of incompetence, bad judgment, malfeasance or all three. (George Tenet, the director of central intelligence; Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld; and the Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers spring to mind.)Each time, we’re told Mr. Bush repays loyalty with loyalty. We’re told it’s a sign of character.We don’t buy the explanation. The more persuasive answer is that Mr. Bush protects his embattled advisers because they are doing precisely what he told them to do. (…) The more of these White House psychodramas we get to witness, the more obvious it is that Mr. Bush’s warm embrace is really a payoff to yes-men who didn’t challenge his orders or question ideology-driven policies. It is a cynical way to run the United States government. And, as Mr. Tenet’s recent book shows, it doesn’t even buy silence.

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