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.