Let’s face it. Scott McClellan was not a very good presidential press secretary to start with. He always seemed to be unsure of himself, what he knew, and how he should be communicating it. He had this infuriating quality of talking as — if — he — were — reading — the — words — as — they — appeared — on — a — hidden — screen — implanted — in — his — brain. On second thought, maybe McClellan’s own podium-based incompetence might have been a pretty good window into the reality of the administration as a whole, so on that level maybe he was the most truthful press secretary in history.

Anyone who knows me, or reads what I write, knows that I am not a big fan of the Bush administration, how it foolishly took us to war and spun us on the “facts” regarding its necessity. But, watching McClellan this morning on the “Today Show,” I almost feel sorry for them.

Sure, McClellan has a right to write a book and make some dough. But whatever happened to having serious disagreements and quitting a job on principle? “Dear Mr. President: You know I love you, but I have come to the conclusion that you are in way over your head; that you don’t know what you are doing, and this trumped-up war is a crock of horse manure. With all due respect, I am gone!” Something subtle like that.

But, no, maybe I’ll stick around a while, take good notes, and get a book deal out of it. Just a little slimy.

McClellan should have quit the second he knew they were lying to him about the Valerie Plame leak. Made him look like a fool. We knew it. He knew it. The American people knew it. So there he stood, day after day, lying to us, and knowing he was part of the deception.

Which leads us to the obvious question: Why should we believe him now? Maybe McClellan’s actually working on a second book about how he was deceived by his publisher on this one. And as he is out there doing his book tour, he will display the same kind of silent “courage” he showed from the White House podium.

McClellan’s book is titled: What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception. Not sure how “inside” he really was, but I have no doubt that he speaks with authority on that “culture of deception” stuff.