June 21, 2005
Durbin's Apology: I accept (UPDATED)
Jeff Quinton notified me that Dick Durbin has publicly apologozed. Ian from the Political Teen has the video. When I first saw the video, I thought, just like Charles Johnson seems to be thinking, wait, this isn't an apology at all. This is an I'm sorry I got caught and you took me wrong non-apology. However, after reading a more thorough account of his apology, the apology does seem genuine.
Ok, here is some of what he says. AP:
Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line," the Illinois Democrat said. "To them I extend my heartfelt apologies."This is not really an apolgy.
I'm sorry that you believe my remarks crossed the line.
Then he goes on to what seems to be a non-apology to the soldiers he offended:
They're the best. I never, ever intended any disrespect for them,"As my wife tells me when I try this kind of apology, "Whether or not you intended to be disrespectful, you were disrespectful."
And if that was all he said, then I would be forced to conclude, as Rob Porter does, that this was no apology at all.
However, at one point he does fess up and realize just how morally depraved his remarks were.
During his apology, which Durbin delivered while looking directly into a TV camera broadcasting the proceedings, the senator said: "I made reference to Nazis, to Soviets, and other repressive regimes. Mr. President, I've come to understand that's a very poor choice of words."Let me disagree with Will Collier and others who I'm sure will say this is insincere. I, for one, cannot judge sincerity. Given that judging sincerity is very difficult at best and more than likely impossible, my personal preference is to assume that a person is sincere. I have no idea, as Alexander McClure suggests, whether or not he apologizes simply to get fellow Democrats off his back.
He also reached out directly to Holocaust survivors, adding: "I'm sorry if anything that I said caused any offense or pain to those who have such bitter memories of the Holocaust, the greatest moral tragedy of our time. Nothing, nothing should ever be said to demean or diminish that moral tragedy."
Further, iff Durbin is sincere or not is not important to me. What was offensive was not whether or not he actually believed his disgusting analogy, but rather that his made the analogy.
Oh, and as long as we're talking Gitmo. Hey, Kos. Read this.
UPDATE II: No wonder I'm a RINO. I guess I'm going to feel the wrath of angry readers on this one. But look, seriously, this seems to be a legitimate apology. Trust me, I've said equally stupid things in the past and I hope that when I try to correct them and apologize people will be somewhat charitable. If Durbin's deeds in the following months indicate otherwise, we will hold his feet to the fire again. Until then, chill.
UPDATE IV 6/22/04: I knew I would be in the minority on this one, but that doesn't bother me. There is a solid argument against giving Durbin a pass. Further, just because I accept Durbin's apology does not mean that he should not be censured. I think he still should be censured. Whether or not he should resign or be forced out of his role as Minority Whip is inconsequential to me. That's just politics. I'm interested in people doing the right thing, not politics.
As you may recall, I was personally offended and outraged by his remarks. And now, I personally forgive him for offending me.
A lot of great points made below in the comments section and also by checking the fatwas issued below. Michelle Malkin also has a good roundup.
I'm also glad to see I agree with Dean Esmay.