Imagine some of the most manipulative people you ever might have encountered. Although they did outrageous and indefensible things you apologized to them to get back in their good graces. They provoked other people and made them feel bad and guilty. Until the end of their lives, such people never might accept responsibility for any wrongdoing. Others are to blame.
I suppose having known one such person prepared me for Washington. How else could one understand what happened this past week when Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) commented on an FBI report about the detention center at Guatanamo? Durbin compared our military’s treatment of the detainees at Guatanamo to the Nazis during World War II, to the Soviet
Gulags and to Pol Pot’s regime in Cambodia.
Among Durbin’s complaints were that prisoners were chained to the floor, deprived of bathroom facilities and alternately were subjected to extremely cold and hot temperatures in rooms without air-conditioning. The cruelest punishment was forcing the prisoners to listen to loud
American pop music.
Immediately there were demands for Durbin to retract his statement. He defiantly refused to do so. In fact, Durbin was given the chance to recant by the media in his home State of Illinois. Instead, he again attacked Republicans, saying that he wouldn’t be in trouble if the Republican Attack Machine, led by talk radio hosts, and furthered by the WASHINGTON TIMES, the editorial page of the WALL STREET JOURNAL and the Fox News Channel, hadn’t acted predictably. When the pressure continued Durbin issued an insincere apology, in which he said he regretted offending anyone by his statement.
Some Republicans willingly accepted that half-hearted apology. By that time veterans’ groups and State and local Democrats had responded. After Democratic Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago chastised Durbin, Durbin issued a tearful apology. Durbin’s apology sounded sincere but if you listened carefully to his statement it was not an ample apology. He apologized to those who felt he had crossed the line but he never admitted that he had crossed the line. Because Durbin choked up when he said he loved his country and the military who serve it, some Republicans were willing to accept his tearful non-apology.
Led by Republican Senator John S. McCain, III of Arizona, and followed by Republican Senators Lindsay O. Graham of South Carolina, Charles T. (Chuck) Hagel of Nebraska and Larry E. Craig of Idaho, one-by-one they accepted Durbin’s non-apology. McCain called Durbin courageous.
Courageous? For a week the man would not apologize. He steadfastly has tried to place the blame on others. He has not accepted responsibility for his statement. He has not retracted his statement. Yet these Republicans eagerly praised Durbin. He was like the manipulative person
who commonly tried to shift the blame to others. He never gave, as one would expect, a sincere apology.
Manipulative people I knew never accepted responsibility for anything they did or said unless it were successful. Just as they would have people begging for forgiveness for what they initiated, the four Republican Senators praised Durbin for a grudging concession wrapped in a few tears and choking words.
Did they have manipulative people in their lives? If they did perhaps they can be forgiven. Otherwise they are waiting to be manipulated by a smarter colleague. If that is the case they owe America an apology. Americans and the brave U.S. troops defending our country will never get an apology from certain Republicans just as they never got a sincere apology from Durbin.
Karl C. Rove attended a dinner hosted by the Conservative Party in New York and spoke truthfully but generally about the liberal reaction to 9/11. He said, “Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.” Oh my, there were calls from Senator Reid and other Democratic lawmakers for Rove to apologize or to resign. New York’s embattled Republican Governor George E. Pataki refused to criticize Rove and defended him, for which the Governor must be applauded.
I hope Rove will hold his ground because there is plenty of evidence to support his position. Even if you are not enthusiastic about the war in Iraq, many Liberals have suggested that we got what we deserved on 9/11. If Liberals want to throw Rove into that briarpatch they must be prepared for what is coming. Rove is savvy. I am willing to bet that Rove will not apologize and I’m also willing to bet that the President will stand by his man.
What a refreshing change that will be from the psycho-babble of Republican Senators who are falling over themselves to accept unauthentic apologies. If the situation had been reversed Durbin would not have accepted an insincere apology.