L’Affaire DiIulio

Esquire magazine recently published a four page letter (long, but worth reading) by John DiIulio, former head of faith-based initiatives for the President, describing the way the Bush White House is completely driven by political calculations, not by policy. He has since apologized, saying his word were “poorly chosen.” This apology has all the plausibility of Claude Rains being shocked–shocked!–to discover gambling, since the letter was so well written. And indeed, DiIulio subsequently offered a “clarification” of the apology, saying that good manners required it. In any case, the episode does show that the Bushies don’t like dissent in the ranks, and presumably had some lever they could use to pry this retraction out of DiIulio. I wonder what.