Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Durbin's "Apology"

Last week on the Senate floor, Sen. Durbin (D-Ill.) compared American soldiers to "Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime - Pol Pot or others - that had no concern for human beings". This comparison drew outrage from the American public.

Late last week, Durbin said he regretted any "misunderstanding" caused by his comments. Of course, his prepared remarks on the Senate floor had not been misunderstood. To the discomfort of Durbin and other Democrats, the public understood his remarks all too well. Durbin's non-apology did nothing to quiet the political storm.

Yesterday, Durbin again spoke (registration required) on the Senate floor. Durbin acknowledged that "some may believe that my remarks crossed the line." Only "some"? Notice that Durbin does not admit that his remarks did cross the line or that he himself believes his remarks crossed the line.

Durbin said he used "a poor choice of words". His words were worse than a poor choice. They were inaccurate, offensive, disrespectful.

Durbin said he never intended any disrespect for American soldiers. However, his words clearly showed disrespect for American soldiers. How does a comparison to Nazis, Soviets in the gulags, and Pol Pot not show disrespect?

Durbin also said, "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." Notice that he avoids any apology for what he said.

Durbin added, "I'm also sorry if anything I said in any way cast a negative light on our fine men and women in the military." Again, notice that he avoids any apology for what he said. He never admits that he was wrong!

Durbin's original remarks revealed his anti-military bias and his disrespect for American soldiers. His attitude is widely shared by the Democrats in Congress, not a one of whom criticized his remarks, and by the far left wing base of the Democratic party.

The press's treatment of Durbin's remarks contrasts sharply with its treatment of Sen. Trent Lott's (R-Miss.) remarks that were favorable to former Sen. Thurmond's 1948 run for President as a Dixiecrat. Lott's remarks drew front-page coverage and an editorial drum beat for his resignation as Senate Majority Leader. The mainstream media are not covering Durbin's remarks on the front page and are not calling for Durbin's resignation as Democratic Whip, the number 2 leadership position among Senate Democrats.

Durbin should do what Lott did--apologize, admit that he was wrong, and resign. The mainstream media should demand no less if they want to be even-handed.

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