Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Durbin Apologizes, Let's Move On Now

In a tearful statement on the Senate floor, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) appologized for his statements last week concerning prisoner treatment at Gitmo.

His statements definitely warranted an apology and hopefully this will put the issue to rest. As we have said, Durbin’s remarks were stupid but the reaction to them was overblown.

I also wanted to address a couple of issues brought up in the comments section of our previous post on this topic. First, apparently al Jazeera has been covering Durbin’s remarks without perspective. A commenter found that this was a good reason to condemn Durbin. While I can find no independent confirmation that al Jazeera did cover this, I can say, so what? Are American public officials supposed to censor themselves for fear of how al Jazeera might cover what they say? That’s a pretty ridiculous standard.

Secondly, a commenter noted that Trent Lott was forced to step down as Senate Majority Leader after making racially insensitive remarks at the funeral of Strom Thurmond. Lott said:

"I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either.”
Pretty stupid. And he deserved to be strongly criticized for it. But he didn’t deserve to lose his leadership position. And he may not have lost it had Bill Frist not capitalized on the incident to stage a coup. Fact is, Senators make stupid comments all the time. But they should only be officially punished for actions, not words. It’s up to the voters to decide if what an elected official says is bad enough to kick them out of office.

Thanks to Charging RINO for the tip on the Durbin apology.


At 12:18 AM, Blogger AubreyJ said...

I think the man meant it when he made that tearful apology today. I mean when Senator Durbin stopped for a moment and looked back on what he actually had said, he knew he had gone and flat screwed up. If I was him I think I would have shed a tear or two too! He was voted in... He can sure be voted out!!!!
(That thought my friend will make most any man cry...)

At 8:27 AM, Blogger Jonathan C said...

Alan, as usualy, AMEN!

At 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I can find no independent confirmation that al Jazeera did cover this, I can say, so what?
Al Jazeera Story Link

Providing propaganda to the enemy at time of war is more than just plain stupid. I expect more from not only a Senator but even more from the #2 Dem Senator. He is expected to set an example.

At 9:18 AM, Anonymous Fury said...

I think this is akin to 'shooting the messenger'. Durbin reads a FBI report and gets blasted for it.

Sure he adds his own to the story but if you read that report without knowing where it came from, can you honestly say you thought it came from one of our own prisons?

Instead of dragging the media off in demands of an apology, I would rather see them rush off to validate that report.

Durbin isn't the one endangering our troops here, it's the possible abuse of prisoners that will!

At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Senators make stupid comments all the time. But they should only be officially punished for actions, not words.”

I agree with your comment and want to add that not only “Senators” make stupid comments, because we all do! This may be more philosophical but it’s the way I view this. Behavior really is what needs to be judged as it is the result of who we really are, not words. Behavior represents in the world of communicating more than ~80% of how we communicate who we are. Words represent far less.

Making choices is part of a process that takes time during which we can make poor or proper choices. Hence, because there is enough time to think things through before making each choice, we are expected to make choices that accurately reflect our true intentions.

The other side to this is the higher you go up on the ladder, the more responsibility you are expected to assume. The question is, even at a higher level, can you still be allowed to make mistakes with saying stupid things? On the flip side, behavior is judged if you are at the bottom of the ladder to even the highest point. Remember Watergate?

In my opinion, we place too much value on words rather than watching behavior. An example is that the news reports if watched closely will surface stories over time. Some of these stories appear to explain corruption incidents as they are played out. However, it’s clear everyone watches and acknowledges that something is wrong, but no one seems be able to put it together to resolve what it is. So what really is Transparency in Government anyway? Is it enough facts and figures to explain what is happening and/or is it our own dysfunction with not being able to read behavior?
Deep Throat II


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