Writing about reaction to Scott McClellan’s tell-all book, Gail Collins notices something interesting about McClellan’s critics:
The administration’s defenders have not really attacked the book’s thesis — really, what could you say? But they’ve been frothing at the mouth over McClellan’s lack of loyalty. “This will stand as the epitome, the ultimate breach of that code of honor,” said Mary Matalin.
Collins also quotes an email from indicted Giuliani pal Bernard Kerik:
“DISLOYAL, SICKENING AND DESPICABLE DISLOYAL, SICKENING AND DESPICABLE...”
Honor among thieves means that you never rat out a fellow wrongdoer. This is the Bush administration’s code of honor.
Don’t get me wrong. There is a place for loyalty between good people, but context is everything. It’s commendable when we stick with friends going through hard times. And we can even stick with friends who do wrong and own up to their wrongdoing. But, McClellan’s real crime, according to his critics, is that he violated the thieves' code. He ratted out his unrepentant, wrongdoing friends. Such is the friendship among thieves.