Found phrase - Mayberry Machiavellis

Posted by ESC on December 03, 2002

This article and comment were sent to me by a friend:

MAYBERRY MACHIAVELLIS -- George Bush says "hey." WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former senior aide to President Bush apologized on Monday (Dec. 2, 2002) after being quoted in an article saying a band of "Mayberry Machiavellis" were running a White House where politics trumped policy.

The Esquire magazine article -- which extensively quoted John DiIulio, the former head of Bush's stalled effort to aid religious charities -- represents a rare criticism by a one-time insider of a Bush White House which has placed a near-total lid on internal dissent.

"John DiIulio agrees that his criticisms were groundless and baseless due to poorly chosen words and examples. He sincerely apologizes and is deeply remorseful," DiIulio's office said in a statement. The statement was distributed by the University of Pennsylvania, where DiIulio works as a professor.

The article, in the January issue of Esquire, quoted DiIulio and unnamed White House officials as saying top Bush aide Karl Rove had assumed unprecedented power at the White House and that political calculations regularly trumped policy concerns.

"There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus," DiIulio was quoted as saying. "What you've got is everything, and I mean everything, being run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis," he said.

Mayberry, North Carolina, the fictional setting for the classic television hit "The Andy Griffith Show," is a symbol for small-town simplicity and backwardness.