Home > Conservatism, Matt Latimer, Politics > Matt Latimer: turncoat or change agent? (Why the “or”?)

Matt Latimer: turncoat or change agent? (Why the “or”?)

In principle, I’m generally opposed to tell-all memoirs of the kind that capitalize on one’s former, high-profile position as a trusted employee. An important ethic used to dictate that serving at someone else’s “pleasure,” as Colin Powell so frequently (and honorably) put it, required keeping behind-closed-doors conversations quiet and solemnly — even at the risk of less notoriety and financial remuneration — taking such conversations and insider insights to the grave. But as a weak mortal, I suffer from a voyeuristic attraction to the halls of power and as a student of political history, I can’t help but want to read this Latimer fella’s book, Speech-Less. It’s created a fair amount of controversy because he, apparently, so roundly criticizes Bush and many of his advisers as pseudo-conservatives, while praising the likes of Cheney; Rumsfeld; Senators Kyl, Coburn, and DeMint; and Governor Palin. So now my curiosity is piqued, because this Latimer dude sounds like my kind of conservative, even if he’s not my kind of honorable conservative.

Anyway, some interesting stuff about him on NRO’s “The Corner”.

Be sure to read the original letter Latimer sent to NRO (which Lowry links to in the above post).

So now, in conclusion, there’s another principle in tension here, one that might supersede my principled opposition to profiting from disloyalty and one’s own breech of trust: Does Latimer’s book serve a larger political goal, even if his aspirations in writing it might have been more puerile? I might have to read it to see, but either way, that others might profit from his folly makes the folly no less his. Maybe I can be a bit Solomonic about it: Perhaps I’ll just pick it up from the library or borrow it from someone to gain what I can from it while withholding my financial endorsement of his disloyalty.

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