Cave-in appologies are bad politics. Always.
Sen. Durbin's tearful apology for comparing the prisoner abuses at Gitmo/Abu to things one might see from the most horrific totalitarian regimes highlights one of the key differences between Democrats and the Rove/Limbaugh/Fox axis that has been kicking our asses for years. I am referring of course to one of the Republicans core principals:
NEVER APPOLOGISE FOR NOTHIN'
You know how this goes:
-No WMDs, just move the goalpost-it was about Democracy all along!
-Phony newsmen and payoffs-Ignore it!
-Enron/Halliburton pals ripping off old ladies and tax payers- Hey, we're shocked, shocked I tell you!
-Campaign mercenaries throwing out Democratic absentee ballots in Colorado- Gee, we'd never tell them to do something like THAT...
I could go on and on, as I hope some of you will do in the comments, but there is a bigger point at stake here:
It's about communication, stupid.
Rove and the boys realize that appology means political death. They know this because they are masters at killing their opponents who admit to just about anything. Here are two recent examples:
-Dan Rather/CBS- THE STORY WAS TRUE, FOR CRISSAKES, BUT WHO REMEMBERS IT.
-Newsweek- Koran abuse was happening according to the army itself, yet The Axis blamed Newsweek for getting people killed.
Durban should have stuck by his guns and explained the distinction between Gitmo/Abu(which has been encouraged from the top down by by the alarming and dehumanizing rhetoric of Bush, Gonzalez, Rummy and the rest) and the grunts who are at risk precisely because of this administration's endless foreign policy ineptitude. In other words:
HE SHOULD HAVE PUT THE BUCK FOR THE ABUSES RIGHT WHERE IT BELONGS, WITH BUSH AND HIS TOP ADVISORS.
Instead, by tearfully appologizing, Durban has given the Republicans a Muskie-like moment- yet another weak and misguided "liberal" who's out of touch with reality.
T-Minus 2 seconds and counting (or whenever Rush and the Fox boys come on in your time zone today):
The Republicans will demonize and iconicize Durban as their next poster child to wedge away the poorly informed middle masses who make the difference in our national politics. Sen. Durban, meet your new bedfellows: Teddy, Dan, and Hillary.
You know, appology is good for peoples' souls, but only if there is something to appologize for. Durban wasn't attacking the kids, he was attacking their leaders, and he should have said so. By appogizing for how his enemies might choose to misinterpret his comments, Durban is playing right into their hands.
Just like the Democrats always do.
We need to get wise to this folks, or we will continue to feed the Rove/Limbaugh/Fox axis tasty morsels like Durban's unnecessary apology right through the '06 elections.