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A liberal explains it all...

In a meeting today a colleague who is as liberal and anti-Bush as the day is long, made it crystal clear why the left wants Bush to acknowledge mistakes and why Bush refuses.

The subject of the conversation was a large project that has run over schedule for a variety of reasons. Most of the overruns occurred due to circumstances entirely outside our sphere of control or influence. We gathered to discuss the content of an upcoming meeting where the heads of various internal and external groups would be present. In the course of discussion the idea of starting the meeting by acknowledging our past mistakes and, in effect, taking the sword for the other groups actually responsible for the delays was broached.

My colleague immediately chimed in with, "Bullshit!"

He continued, "there's no way you can start a meeting by apologizing for your past action. It's a politically untenable position. You can address the issues, but you do NOT apologize or admit to mistakes. You can never get back the upper hand once you start like that. In effect you are saying 'here's all the things we did wrong' but you should give us another chance.' Who's going to buy that? They'll bury us at that point..."

At which point even he noticed the irony of his position.

All of which helps to explain why both President Bush and Prime Minister Blair have stuck to their guns in defending their choices. To do otherwise is political suicide.


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Comments (14)

and that is why Elizabeth E... (Below threshold)
OneDrummer:

and that is why Elizabeth Edwards will never apologize for telling the world that Lynne Cheney must be ashamed of her daughter because she is gay.....

and here I just thought it was arrogance......

Oof. Nice.... (Below threshold)

Oof. Nice.

Did anyone hear Edwards in ... (Below threshold)

Did anyone hear Edwards in that interview where he was asked to name 3 of HIS mistakes? He gave some softball answers like "oh, this one guy I appointed" etc.

No politician is going to admit to major mistakes and hope to have a career after it.

Never complain and never ex... (Below threshold)
Mikey:

Never complain and never explain.
-Benjamin Disraeli

This is the year of the apo... (Below threshold)
Jim:

This is the year of the apology. Richard Clark started it when he opened his testimony during the 9-11 Commission hearings by apologizing to the so-called 9-11 families.

Wiz, agreed that it would b... (Below threshold)
Lastango:

Wiz, agreed that it would be political suicide for Bush and Blair to apologize, but the reason they wonít is because the case about WMDís was always an expedient to get U.N. support, and was never the core reason the Saddam regime was deposed. Bush and Blair based their approach to U.N. on WMD's only because thatís what the existing U.N. resolutions regarding Iraq were about.

If Bush and Blair want to say "sorry" then their first apology should be to us conservatives for choosing to screw around at the U.N. for six months and for establishing the precedent that we canít crush our enemies without an elaborate kabuki dance and international approval.

This is SUCH a red herring.... (Below threshold)
Okely Dokely:

This is SUCH a red herring.

I don't think anyone can name a successful presidential candidate whose campaign included apologizing for his actions of listing the mistakes he had made.

You make the best decision ... (Below threshold)
julie:

You make the best decision with the facts that are given to you at the time. If the result is not what you anticipated, it does not mean you are in the wrong. Readiness to accept blame when it is not warranted shd be reserved for friends and family. All this pushing for people to admit their mistakes reminds me too much of the old communist regimes when you were forced to admit immaginary errors.

Unfortunately these aren't ... (Below threshold)

Unfortunately these aren't imaginary errors. Contrary to the assertions that admitting mistakes is political suicide, and while acknowledging that lefties would jump all over admissions of mistake, the ability to acknowledge error where error was made requires strong character and accountability. Remember Bush has been talking about accountability all throughout his presidency and this campaign.

It would be refreshing to hear a politician be honest about his or her missteps. Contrary to popular opinion, acknowledgement of mistakes doesn't necessarily require a mea culpa. I think he could have done so without much political backlash.

Which is why the Left keeps... (Below threshold)
Remy Logan:

Which is why the Left keeps demanding apologies, and never, ever hands them out.

lasttango: If Bus... (Below threshold)
Brian:

lasttango: If Bush and Blair want to say "sorry" then their first apology should be to us conservatives for choosing to screw around at the U.N. for six months and for establishing the precedent that we can’t crush our enemies without an elaborate kabuki dance and international approval.

Yes indeedy!

My jaw still drops whenever I hear a lefty talk about Bush's "rush to war".

doesn't necessarily requ... (Below threshold)

doesn't necessarily require a mea culpa. I think he could have done so without much political backlash.

This is either naiive or disingenuous, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt. When Bush even hinted that there might not have been sufficient planning for the eventuality that Iraqi troops would simply not fight, but rather melt back into the countryside instead, Kerry and Edwards were on it like white on rice and so were the Old Media and lefty bloggers.

He said we were victims of "catastrophic success" - namely that we had gotten to Baghdad so quickly and the Ba'athists ran away so fast that suddenly we had a country to run while a large portion of the opposing forces remained in the field and disguised in the civilian population.

He was right. There was no real way to plan for that contingency, at least not one that would have provided for a solution that would have pleased everyone. But still they tried to crucify him for saying it.

If you want more honesty, then you should demand honesty from the media in reporting it. You should demand that his opponents not play politics with national security. And you should demand that voters educate themselves about the realities of military endeavors and war before going off half-cocked and running their mouths denigrating the president when they don't have a clue what they're talking about.

This is either naiive or... (Below threshold)
julie:

This is either naiive or disingenuous

Try disingenous. If she wants honesty, let her start with herself.

Thanks, Julie. I love bein... (Below threshold)

Thanks, Julie. I love being painted with a wide brush.

Jim B: But still they tried to crucify him for saying it. Well, sure they did. That's politics. But also notice that Bush's numbers didn't drop significantly among voters and that his approval rating didn't dip a bit until the presidential debates started, and even those numbers are debatable.

And as far as me being personally accountable for a lack of media honesty, political honesty, and all lefty political blogger honesty, I'll get right on that. Do I really need to qualify my statements by saying that I don't intend to flame?




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