Though a d-bag is firmly convinced that he deserves whatever special treatment sets him apart from others, sometimes the gross inequity and crass overreaching of a d-bag’s desires gets him into trouble. The first move a d-bag will make to wiggle out of his predicament is to project chutzpah. “It wasn’t me.” “What are you? Some kind of Islamofacist?” “‘Science’ has not conclusively proved that tobacco causes cancer.” But every so often a d-bag gets stuck holding the bag, and that’s when d-bags fall in love with the mea culpa.
What exactly is a mea culpa? The origin of the expression is from a traditional prayer in the Mass of the Roman Catholic Church known as Confiteor (Latin for “I confess”), in which the individual recognizes his or her flaws before God. This use of the term is particularly relevant to religious d-bags like Jimmy Swaggart (pictured above) and Jim Bakker (at left) who practiced “classic” d-baggery of the sort used since the most ancient times to birddog rivals, bag bitches, and enrich themselves with gifts from the poor, all in the name of the one, true God. Being able to say you’re sorry, avoid punishment, and continue d-bagging is a wonderful proof of your d-bagging prowess. Most high profile d-bags have the mea culpa medal pinned on their chests (though notably Eliot Spitzer has yet to turn his mea culpa into d-bag gold by triumphantly returning to public office. This may be because he gave up d-baggery, but considering the source, I doubt it. Look for Spitzer in a councilman race near you in 2009!).
Though they were popular in the 1980s with the religious set, Ronald Reagan’s refusal to acknowledge any wrongdoing in the many criminal exploits of his administration (e. g. Iran-Contra, HUD, S&L bailout) made mea culpas fall out of fashion as the 20th century drew to a close. It took an impeachment procedure to get Bill Clinton to admit he allowed Monica Lewinsky to fellate him, and with the ascension of the Bush dynasty in 2000, all the guiding stars of d-baggery were aligned to allow a George Bush to dare to dream d-bag big — on a bigger scale than ever before imagined. For almost a decade it seemed that d-bags would be able to assert their own truth, overwhelming contradictory evidence to the contrary, and never have to utter a mea culpa again. But, mutatis mutandis it appears that black is once again the new black and the mea culpa is back.
Guess who just came out with his very first mea culpa?! That’s right, the man who is making it OK for d-bags to say “I’m sorry” is SWDBL’s d-bag of the day Scott McClellan! MacClellan, in his tell-all new book “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception,” says “I fell far short of living up to the kind of public servant I wanted to be,” and that some of his own words from the podium in the White House briefing room turned out to be “badly misguided.” (Too late for the four thousand plus soldiers dead!)
MacClellan writes, “The president had promised himself that he would accomplish what his father had failed to do by winning a second term in office, and that meant operating continually in campaign mode: never explaining, never apologizing, never retreating. Unfortunately, that strategy also had less justifiable repercussions: never reflecting, never reconsidering, never compromising. Especially not where Iraq was concerned.”
“A more self-confident executive would be willing to acknowledge failure, to trust people’s ability to forgive those who seek redemption for mistakes and show a readiness to change.”
Yeah sure, but not for a d-bag!
Karl Rove, once a master theorist of d-baggery, now an inside joke on Fox News, denied allegations he and Libby kept information from McClellan about Plame, in an attempt to blow back against McClellan’s initiative to rehabilitate the mea culpa. Rove said what was reported on Politico doesn’t sound like the McClellan he has known for years. Instead, Rove told FOX News’ “Hannity & Colmes” it sounded more like “a liberal blogger.” Will Rove be able to pull off another d-bag coup and convince Americans that McClellan’s body has been hollowed out by Liberal Islamofacists who have inserted a Liberal cyborg homunculus underneath McClellan’s skin? Maybe not, but you have to give it to Karl. He’s working overtime to keep the dream alive.
The d-bag machine keeps on churnin’ out the hits! The current spin on McClellan’s perfidy follows Rove’s sci-fi fantasy contention (mentioned above) that aliens have hollowed out Scott’s body and installed a liberal blogger underneath his skin. Ari Fleischer says he can not wait to hear Mr. McClellan talk about the book on television, “to see if there’s a written Scott and an oral Scott.” Trent Duffy, who worked as McClellan’s deputy for more than two years, said of the avid University of Texas sports fan: “Tomorrow maybe we’re going to learn he’s rooting for the Oklahoma Sooners.” “Here’s a man who owes his whole career to George W. Bush, and here he’s stabbing him in the back and no one knows why,” Duffy said. “He appears to be dancing on his political grave for cash.” If the Administration flacks are right, and this is just sour grapes for cash, McClellan’s mea culpa is in no way different from the public self-flagellations of “classic” d-bags like Swaggart and Bakker. If on the other hand McClellan is truly contrite (let’s not forget that, as a Times editorial says, “this is the same Scott McClellan who presumably had a big role in creating the White House’s communications strategy and joined in the ‘culture of deception’ with such zeal that we lost count of the times he ridiculed critics of the war and questioned their patriotism”) it is plausible that it took two years of de-programming for a d-bag to return to reason and good judgment. In which case this mea culpa might be sincere.