The use of an unfortunate term to describe the developmentally challenged by Rahm Emanuel has now become a full blown food fight. Palin (rightfully, I might add) calls out a 3 month old incident on her Facebook page and that becomes a cause celebre for the right. Emanuel apologizes. And then apologizes again. And again. Apologies not accepted. The storm rolls on, pushing actual issues to the wayside.
But wait, it seems many on the right also use the same unfortunate and inappropriate term. Are they called out? Nope. Except by the left, that feels compelled to engage in a schoolyard game of "My dad is bigger than your Dad."
And while this battle over words roils on, the issues that real, actual Americans without personal assistants and such continue to watch in growing disgust with the inability of their government to get anything meaningful done.
To make it worse, demanded apologies are now rejected as insincere. Somehow, the apology has become more important in Washington than actions, deeds or intentions. Apparently, "I'm sorry," now absolves everything from adultery to slurs to corruption to stealing. Those 2 abused and overused words outweigh the actual deeds of the people speaking them.
let's take a look at some of them. Bill Clinton is probably most to blame for the apology circus. Clinton, Sanford, Edwards, Ensign, Craig. All assumed "I'm sorry I hurt my family," would take care of the little matter of adultery. And, oddly, the same folks that would not countenance this most egregious of all misdeeds in their own lives, accept this falsehood as long as it is politically expedient.
Same for breaking the law. How many elected officials apologize for getting caught? Whether it is drunk driving, stealing, corruption, tax evasion, shooting someone (yes, I mean Cheney) or any other violation of the law, apparently, "I'm sorry," now counts more than actual penalty under law.
Well, in my opinion, it does not. Words are meaningless without deeds to match. Case in point is John Edwards vs Mark Sanford. Edwards has apologized over and over, assuming that would take care of it. Apparently not. The revelations continue as does the disgrace. Which is as it should be. Edwards is reprehensible man who apparently has no shame and no actual measurable ethics.
Yet, at the same time, Governor Sanford, who used public money to help his little tryst, and lied to his staff and constituents is granted a pass on all of that by means of a weak and insincere apology. How do I know it to be insincere? Because on the same day, he defended his actions, refused to step down and actually had the audacity to call the thing a partisan attack.
Which brings us back to Emanuel. Yes, he used an unfortunate word. Yes, he used it as an insult. But should he resign? Over that? Should this 3 month old incident be the political firestorm that it is? No. However, it does provide excellent cover for both sides to conceal their ongoing incompetence and unwillingness to do their jobs.
How totally convenient for the Congress to be able to pontificate on this ludicrous matter instead of explaining why they got a pay raise when most Americans lost pay and pension value. How absolutely wonderful for the spitballers on both sides to have this to yell about rather than being forced to deal with substance.
And that is the reality behind almost every side issue and apology demand. Distraction. Diversion. Better to hide behind the endless apology game than step up and take a stand on any real issue. that might actually take courage and courage is in amazingly short supply in DC these days.