The United States of Apology 19

We're a nation that now demands apologies for the slightest offense, even if they lack the substance of sincerity. It takes a special kind of insecurity to tie up multiple news cycles on radio talk show hosts when the national debt is over 15 trillion dollars.

The outrage over Rush Limbaugh’s “slut” jokes this week, the demands for an “apology”, and the eventual concession by the radio host is just another example of the sad state of affairs the country is in. If I was a partisan hack I’d say that it all began with Barack Obama’s apology tour of the world, which shows no sign of letting up, judging by the Koran burning incident in Afghanistan. Sadly, the national fixation over apologies has been going on for quite some time, and even my friends on the right have allowed this cultural bug to crawl into their ears and take root in their brain.

Did countless commentators on the left ever apologize to George Bush for the laundry list of ways they compared him to a Nazi for almost eight full years? If so, I can’t remember, but then again I also don’t recall Bush ever being one to play the apology game either.

An apology is something that’s supposed to come from the heart. It’s supposed to come after honest reflection. It is not supposed to come as a result of political pressures, dropped sponsors, or boycotts. Demanding someone say, “I’m sorry” is an exercise only a liberal can love, since they usually imbue certain words with powers that words can never really have. The same people who are enraged at the mere mention of certain words (regardless of the context), also tend to be the same people who need to hear “I’m sorry”, even if it lacks the substance of sincerity.

Every single day top liberal commentators insinuate or outright say that conservatives are racists, bigots, and homophobes. Does that “offend” me? Not really, but if it did I wouldn’t demand an apology. Their words and their actions speak for themselves.Fair-minded individuals are perfectly capable of looking at the details of a story and parsing out the extent to which someone is a jerk or in the wrong. The same goes for stories involving Rush Limbaugh.

On the Sunday morning talk shows, DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said: “The bottom line is, the leading candidate on the Republican side for president couldn’t even bring himself to call Rush Limbaugh’s comments outrageous and call him out and ask him to apologize.” The response to Wasserman should be: “Get a life. The national debt is at $15,488,891,296,248.02. There are more important things to do than to get embroiled in the on air comments of random radio hosts.”

With everything that the Commander in Chief has on his plate, the notion that he would get involved with the back-and-forth between a radio host and a 30 year old woman attending Georgetown Law is depressing. For someone who campaigned on rising above the fray, all of his actions indicate he’d rather get into the mud to sling clumps. President Obama’s phone call to Sandra Fluke ultimately only serves to distract voters from the tsunami of debt that’s blocking out the sun and about to hit home. When opportunities have given him a chance to become a true statesmen, the president fittingly rose to the level of a community organizer.  Regardless of what one thinks about Rush Limbaugh, there are certainly more appropriate surrogates the president could tap to deal with him. The fact that he chose to directly intervene highlights how vulnerable he would be if only the Republican Party nominated a true statesmen.

The sad part about all of this is, the people who will owe the American people an apology for Washington’s complete and utter failure to address the nation’s debt crisis will disappear when the time comes.

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19 comments

  1. Lazy, partisan-focused research, Douglas. I expect better from you. Well, if we’re dropping links, let’s go ahead and link some more.

    Bush apologized for a US serviceman’s destruction of a Qu’ran:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/05/20/bush-apologizes-to-iraqi_n_102643.html

    Reagan apologized plenty as well:

    http://ceinquiry.us/2011-02-05-reagan-apology

    But this shouldn’t be a tit-for-tat affair. Let me ask you this: under what conditions is it appropriate for a head of state to apologize?

    And listen to Rush’s comments again. If that woman he called “slut” and “prostitute” was your wife or mother–who took contraception to help prevent ovarian cysts–you wouldn’t be laughing at his “joke.” That guy is a hypocrite and an asshole. Why people listen to him spit his invective when there are far more eloquent and intelligent conservatives who can make lucid points without resorting to slut-shaming a women who did her duty testifying in front of Congress I will never understand.

  2. Do you even read my posts? I mention that the fixation with apologies began before Obama and that my “friends on the right” are guilty as well. I think that’s pretty even-keeled for a blog that openly states it’s conservative.

    You don’t want it to be a tit-for-tat debate? That’s good, because it can’t be. There’s a difference between men whose overall disposition is to give their country the benefit of the doubt, and one who always seems to err on the side of placating cries of the international community (i.e., thug regimes and their apologists around the globe). Hordes of idiot Europeans were protesting Reagan’s deployment of missiles in Europe, warning that he was going to start a nuclear war…even though he was responding to Soviet aggression. His enemies feared him, and so an apology isn’t going to change a perception of him.

    Do you really think the mullahs in Iran fear Barack Obama? I don’t. It will be interesting to see how he reacts when the Israelis take care of business. I hope he does the right thing.

    There are times when it’s prudent to apologize, but the wording is also important. President Obama seems to bend over backwards to make the world’s most dysfunctional leaders feel good, as if it will somehow alter their foreign policy. He’s learned the hard way that kissing a despot’s butt doesn’t change anything.

    In regards to Rush, please… Give me a break. When a 30 year old law student and activist gets in front of Congress and makes ridiculous statements, there’s bound to be people who are going to rip her on the radio. That’s what happens when you make yourself a public figure.

    I watched Bill Maher’s Crazy Stupid Politics a few weeks ago and he basically called me an idiot in every way imaginable. Note: He wasn’t “nice”. I didn’t write Yahoo to complain because I’m a big boy. My sister (who is also active in the conservative movement) is a big girl. She can take care of herself. Unlike liberals, we don’t look to be professional victims.

    • I can’t begin to argue that, because the qualitative assessment you made of the president after I presented the examples of both Bush and Reagan apologizing about similar incidents isn’t going to sway you from your opinion. According to you, the president doesn’t give the benefit of the doubt to our country (whatever that means) and just placates the international community when making decisions.

      Arguing against Rush, well that’s easier. I agree that there is bound to be some uncivilized mouth-breathers that will “rip” that lady for her testimony. I expect that on the internet, but I don’t expect a conservative titan with a popular radio show to be the one lobbing vicious ad hominem attacks. How you can defend his utter lack of civility as being okay for whatever reason, I don’t understand. The fact she’s a law student and Democrat count I guess. Liberals = bad, right?

      I caught a Real Time the other night and thought Maher was far more bloviating than he used to be. Sad, really. The only ones I like nowadays are Stuart and Colbert, and they do a better job than most actual news broadcasts. I also find it telling that O’Reilly actually lets Stuart speak on his show and sometimes actually agrees with him. No shouting, no bravado, just straight-up debate.

      What I would like to see is an intelligent and polite debate between equals from the right, left, and center. None of the theatrical shouting of O’Reilly, the patsy liberal Colmes, or the invective of Maddow or Olbermann. A real panel discussing how to solve the issues of our country without bombast or bullshit. Wouldn’t that be refreshing of Congress could do that too?

  3. When did I defend Rush’s statements? I didn’t. And in fact, Rush apologized. If your job was to speak on the radio for 3-4 hours per day, five days per week, for years on end (and entertain politically-minded folks), I’m sure that there would be instances where you would say something you wish you could take back.

    How many blog posts have I written? Quite a bit, and there’s some things I wish I could have spent more time on or crafted more eloquently. But hey, that’s life. The overall body of work says more about me than any one post, just as the totality of Rush’s show says more about him than a lapse in judgment while cracking on a 30 year old student/activist.

    If you think that apologizing for the treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II is anything like the burning of a Koran (one that was being defaced anyway by Islamic turd-terrorists in detention centers), then I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    • You cherry-picked one out of the handful of Reagan apologies. Care to address the apples-to-apples Bush apology? The one were he apologized to a Muslim Head of State for the destruction of a Qur’an? Did he “bend over backwards” or fail to give our country the “benefit of the doubt?”

    • And yeah, you did defend Rush with the “well, she’s a public figure” argument and the “totality” of his career makes it okay for the occasional outburst of ad hominem vulgarities.

      • Zzzzz. It’s pretty obvious those are not the words I would have used, or would suggest that someone use.

        Here’s what I said: He’s a radio host. He talks. A LOT. They’re going to make mistakes, and when it’s appropriate they should apologize. He did. At that point, it’s probably a good idea to move on.

        And yes, she is a public figure. So when someone like Rush says something stupid she should just get over it. Who the hell cares what a radio host says about you? Big deal. Rush doesn’t have any power over her. In my last job I had to do a lot of public speaking, and people called me all sorts of dumb names. They asked me all sorts of moronic questions. So what. They were losers. Instead of spending days upon days on a non-story, how about we talk about our 15 trillion dollars of debt? That would be nice.

  4. Sigh. It’s hard to respond when you just ignore what I say. Let’s try it again: I said that the fixation with apologies existed before Obama took office. That should be an indicator to you that I don’t always agree with apologies that come from “my friends on the right.” I also said that there ARE times where it’s legit to apologize, but in my opinion Obama seems to have that on his brain from the get-go. His instinct seems to be to find a way to appease the protests of losers around the globe who have done nothing to warrant such behavior.

    Bush rocked the entire Middle East by sending in troops into their neighborhood. He turned their world upside down, so if he has to do something stupid like apologize to a douche like Karzai, whatever. In my most recent post on Karzai’s “code of conduct” for beating women, I also mention that instead of trying to do the dumb balancing act we’ve been doing for decades, maybe it’s time to take off the kid gloves with that part of the world.

    Post 9/11, when Bush told Pakistan he was going to send them back to the stone age if they didn’t play ball (even though they’re already there…), they got in line real quick. When the world knows we’re not d**king around, things get done.

  5. Seriously? Do you really believe that? Post 9/11 Bush talking tough?

    Here’s president Bush in ’06 *praising* Musharraf.

    We went into Iraq, which had no weapons of mass destruction nor was proliferating them to rogue nations like North Korea, Libya, and Iran. Guess who did both? Pakistan.

    Stone age? You have zero clue how advanced they are. They test detonated a nuke and we had no idea they were that advanced. None. CIA was surprised. So was Bush. Sure they have the garden-variety muck-a-lucks out in the mountains, but they’re not all rubes.

    Guess who was friendly to the Taliban and *surprise* had OBL safely tucked away near a government military base safe from drone fly-overs? Sure, GWB talked tough at the end of his term and we did have a few drone missions while he was in office, but it is a documented fact that he was cozying up to the country’s DICTATOR, Mussharaf, for much of that term. For example, we give Pakistan $2B a year in “security assistance.”

    You don’t get it. There’s no taking off the kid gloves. They have nukes. They’ve already show they are willing to sell them (look up A.Q. Khan for reference). Our relationship is tenuous at best with them. We can’t go American Crusader on them using Chinese credit and rack up even more debt, destabilize a frenemy regime that HAS NUKES, and kill more of our servicemen and -women. Unless something majorly bad happens with direct ties to Pakistan, it ain’t gonna happen.

  6. I find it odd when you take certain things I say literally, as if I you think I really believe that all of Pakistan is filled with “muck-a-lucks.” Or that you can read this blog and reference A.Q. Khan as if the name would be completely foreign to me…

    I’m not a fan of rehashing the Iraq War in the comments section of my blog, so I won’t.

    The one thing your comment does bring to light is the importance of a missile defense shield. God bless you, Gipper.

  7. Well, I find it odd that you write gems like “(even though they’re already there… [in the stone age])” and are surprised that people don’t call you on it more often. That didn’t sound like satire, a joke, a jest, a jape, or even a sidebar.

    Maybe when you lament that you should put more thought into your writing, the quote above or the easily-rebutted statements about Bush’s tough stance on Pakistan would be a perfectly good time to do so.

    Missile defense shield to guard against whom? Russia. Mutually ensured destruction so that rules them out. So, which middle east country has the proven capability to hit the US or Europe? Zero. You and I both know it would be a smuggled nuke or dirty bomb at best. Any country that would be dumb enough to fire a nuke would be annihilated completely within minutes. But… a rogue nation selling it to a terrorist group who would gladly kill a few hundred thousand or million of us detonating it, that’s the real threat. Pffft, Reagan’s missile defense shield. Waste of money we don’t have on unproven tech.

    Stick to the low-hanging fruit of Prius-driving celebrities.

  8. 1. In many respects, Pakistan is in the Stone Age. I’m fairly confident most readers get the joke, even if you either a.) don’t get it or b.) don’t find it funny.

    2. You didn’t rebut anything about Bush or his stance on Pakistan. Most people know Bush scared the daylights out of Pakistan post 9/11, and he did a good job balancing what he had to say publicly vs. what he did behind the scenes. Unlike Obama (e.g., NEW START Treaty), Bush knew how to play hard ball when he needed to.

    3. I “lament” that I don’t have more time to write because…I have a full time job. I don’t get paid for this. I squeeze it in when I can. When you point me to your blog and how awesome, non-partisan, researched and peer-reviewed it is I’ll go there and marvel at its beauty. Maybe I’ll learn a thing or two.

    4. Again, I don’t need apologies, but when people give them I accept them. My name isn’t Sandra Fluke.

  9. >>”maybe it’s time to take off the kid gloves with that part of the world.”

    Yeah, nuke em all! Why haven’t those dumb guys with 5 Ph.D.’s working at the think tanks figured out this secret formula for success yet? I’ll forward your suggestion to the highest authorities I have access to ASAP (don’t worry I’ll attribute the idea to you in full).

    Oh wait, maybe there are other countries out there who have lots of nukes. And maybe they wouldn’t like it if we nuked their trading partners. Hmm…. NAH, that couldn’t be it. I bet they’ll just bend over and take it up the butt like the pinko-commie-fascist-imperialist-pacifist-war_mongering-cultural_relativist-classicist-anarchist-authoritarian-pansies they are.

    • Only in the mind of guys like you would “taking off kid gloves” be equated with a nuclear war only Dr. Strangelove could love. There are plenty of ways of playing hardball that don’t involve mushroom clouds. Instead of asking an intelligent question, you reveal yourself as a giant boob. Congrats.

  10. Sammy doesn’t know how to communicate his thoughts properly, so let me ask the question his posts begs: what do you mean, exactly, when you write “kid gloves?”

  11. I see Sammy retreated to his Boob-cave, where the Boobmobile and all his wonderful toys are kept. I will answer your question.

    We have the CIA. We have Special Forces. We have cyberwarfare. We can put pressure on financial institutions. We have sanctions. There are any number of ways you can diplomatically tell a country, “We’re not f**king around and playing this game any more.”

    Granted, I don’t have access to the kind of covert ops that president has, but as president our CIA would be very, very happy if I was calling the shots. DARPA would also be very happy. I don’t have the ego to ever run for president, so alas…it will never happen.

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