The Mayberry Machiavellis—a term used to refer to the Bush administration—was employed in October 2002 by University of Pennsylvania professor and "earnest conservative" John J. DiIulio Jr., who was appointed January 30, 2001, by President George W. Bush to head the newly created White House office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives and who resigned in August 2001, "becoming the first person to quit the administration in disgust," Sidney Blumenthal wrote April 12, 2007, in Salon.
"Possessed with a sense of history, the disillusioned professor's remarks of five years ago have proved prophetic: 'There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus. What you've got is everything -- and I mean everything -- being run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis'," Blumenthal wrote.
Ron Suskind wrote January 1, 2003, in Esquire that DiIulio "defines the Mayberry Machiavellis as political staff, Karl Rove and his people, 'who consistently talked and acted as if the height of political sophistication consisted in reducing every issue to its simplest black-and-white terms for public consumption, then steering legislative initiatives or policy proposals as far right as possible. These folks have their predecessors in previous administrations (left and right, Democrat and Republican), but in the Bush administration, they were particularly unfettered.'"
Niccolo Machiavelli, born on May 3, 1469, in Florence, Italy, "eventually became a man who lived his life for politics and patriotism. Right now, however, he is associated with corrupt, totalitarian government" based on a "small pamphlet he wrote called 'The Prince' to gain influence with the ruling Medici family in Florence." 
"On the one hand," Sidney Blumenthal wrote, Karl Rove "has sought to forge a permanent Republican majority. On the other hand, that project might not be completed in just two Bush terms. In either case, Rove's strategy has depended on subjecting the federal government to political objectives. He is not trying to achieve any abstract goal, such as reaching the conservative nirvana of limited government. The endless scandals revealed are not a random compendium of corruption and incompetence, though they are that, too. They are evidence of Rove's -- and Bush's -- larger strategy of hollowing out the federal government in the interest of building a political state."
Resources and articles
=Related SourceWatch Resources
The following articles provide internal links to numerous related SourceWatch topics:
- Bush administration cronyism and incompetence
- Bush administration misuse of government agencies controversy
- Bush administration scandals
- Bush dictatorship
- Bush lies and deceptions
- Bush/Republican Initiatives
- climate change / global warming
- David Kuo
- Executive Orders
- Executive Privilege
- George W. Bush's domestic spying
- House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
- Hurricane Katrina
- Operation Iraqi Freedom / Operation Enduring Freedom / preemptive war
- presidential signing statements
- The Bush Theocracy
- The Cheney-Rumsfeld Cabal Deception
- Unitary Executive Theory
- The DiIulio Letter to Ron Suskind, October 24, 2002; posted by Ratical.org (pdf).
- Mike Burleson, Editorial: "'Mayberry Machiavellis' in the White House. The name game continues, this time from a former White House official. The Bush name-calling continues, this time from a former senior aid," Buzzle.com, December 2, 2002.
- Joe Conason, "The Prince (of Mayberry). A rare, unvarnished look at the Rove spin machine," Salon, December 2, 2002.
- "The Bush White House: A Policy-Free Zone," Democratic Leadership Council, December 3, 2002.
- "Author on the 'Mayberry Machiavellis'," CNNACCESS, December 3, 2002 (Judy Woodruff with Ron Suskind).
- "The John DiIulio saga," Daily Kos, December 3, 2002.
- Joan Walsh, "Bold words from a wobbly man. John DiIulio is now begging the White House's forgiveness for his scathing attack on its tyranny of 'Mayberry Machiavellis.' But he should be begging ours," Salon, December 4, 2002.
- Joe Conason, "'Mayberry Machiavellis' - Shutting Down A Truth-Teller," New York Observer (Rense.com), December 4, 2002.
- "DiIulio's Tale," The Dubya Report, December 10, 2002.
- Dana Milbank, "DiIulio Saga Highlights Primacy Placed on Secrecy," Washington Post, December 10, 2002.
- Joe Conason, "Is Trent Lott suddenly too liberal for conservatives?" Salon, December 17, 2002.
- Ron Suskind, "Why are these men laughing?" Esquire/truthout, January 1, 2003.
- Eric Alterman, "State of Disunion," The Nation, January 23, 2003.
- Maureen Farrell, "Heil Democracy!" BuzzFlash, April 29, 2003.
- Richard Procter, "See You in New York. Over Our Dead Bodies," CounterPunch, May 3, 2003.
- MM Grouch, "The vindication of DiIulio?" Democratic Veteran, July 17, 2003.
- John W. Dean, "An Early Assessment by Leading Presidential Scholars of George W. Bush's Presidency. Part Two," FindLaw's Writ, November 21, 2003.
- Scott D. Feldstein, "Return of the Mayberry Machiavellis," ScottFeldstein Blog, January 15, 2004.
- Tom Raum, "Cross Bush, Face Payback," Associated Press (Common Dreams), March 27, 2004.
- "As evidence mounts of GOP connection to anti-Kerry Swift Boat Vets, Hume and Dole deny the obvious," Media Matters for America, August 26, 2004.
- Editorial: "The Bush Cartel Massacre: Have You No Decency, Have You no Shame? 'Of Course Not, We're the Sopranos from Maine'," BuzzFlash, September 15, 2004.
- Jeffrey St. Clair, "Jesus Told Him Where to Bomb," Eat the State, September 15, 2004.
- Eric Boehlert, "Reality-based reporting. Ron Suskind, who exposed the ruthless internal operations of Team Bush, tells Salon that many Republicans, too, are frightened by the White House's 'kill-or-be-killed desire to undermine public debate based on fact'," Salon, October 20, 2004.
- Ari Berman, "The Faith-Based Fraud," The Daily Outrage Blog/The Nation, January 24, 2005.
- Steve Soto, "'Mayberry Machiavelli' Is Now Formally In Charge Of Homeland And National Security Policy Development," The Left Coaster, February 8, 2005.
- David Domke, "George W. Bush and the gospel of freedom and liberty," Media Transparency, May 20, 2005.
- Paul Krugman, "The Deadly Doughnut," New York Times (truthout), November 11, 2005.
- Steve Soto, "After Five Years, The Mayberry Machiavellis Are In Total Control," The Left Coaster, January 31, 2006.
- Paul Krugman, "State of Delusion," New York Times (Economist's View Blog), February 3, 2006.
- Eric Alterman, "Think Again: Second, Third and Fourth Thoughts about the President," Center for American Progress, February 23, 2006.
- Steve Benen, "The Mayberry Machiavellis pick up a new team member," The Carpetbagger Report, March 9, 2006.
- Steve Soto, "McClellan Shown The Door - Rove Loses Deputy COS Job," The Left Coaster, April 19, 2006.
- Marc Cooper, "Stupid is as Stupid does," MarcCooper.com, May 22, 2006.
- Steve Benen, "Mastering the art of ‘mixing politics and policy’," The Carpetbagger Report, June 26, 2006.
- Amitabh Pal, "Withdrawal from Iraq or political sleight of hand?" The Progressive, June 27, 2006.
- Interview with Ron Suskind, PBS Frontline, July 26, 2006.
- Sidney Blumenthal, "The Disastrous Rule of a Mayberry Machiavelli," AlterNet, September 20, 2006: "Bush ran as a moderate, tacked right and governed ineffectually -- before 9/11. Since then he has become the most radical American president in history, and arguably the worst."
- "The Note's faith-based defense of the Bush administration," Media Matters for America, October 13, 2006.
- Bob Burnett, "The Axis of Ego," The Huffington Post, October 17, 2006.
- Mel Seesholtz, "Theo-political prostitution: Bush and the Christian Right," Online Journal, October 20, 2006.
- Eric Boehlert, "The Karl Rove crush," Media Matters for America AlterNet, November 14, 2006.
- Digby, "Where's Rove?" Hullabaloo, March 6, 2007.
- E.J. Dionne, Jr., "Who's Hyperpartisan?" Washington Post, March 9, 2007.
- William Greider, "Hubris in High Places," The Notion Blog/The Nation, March 13, 2007.
- lambert, "Bush planned to fire all 93 US attorneys, not just 8," Corrente Wire, March 17, 2007.
- John McQuaid, "The Purge: Mayberry Without Machiavelli," The Huffington Post, March 27, 2007.
- Dan Froomkin, "Portrait of a Flailing White House," Washington Post, April 11, 2007.
- Sidney Blumenthal, "Upending the Mayberry Machiavellis. It's up to Congress to save the executive branch from Bush's and Rove's radical experiment to transform it forever," Salon, April 12, 2007.
- Jack Dalton, "The New World Order of 'Managed Democracy'," RINF.com, April 12, 2007.