On taking responsibility

September 14, 2005

One reason that I like Kevin Drum is that he has the guts to call his own side on a bad argument. For example, regarding Bush’s recent statement accepting responsibility for the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, Kevin confronts those on the left who expressed astonishment that Bush, who "famously refuses to ever admit mistakes," would ever apologize:

But here’s the question: is Bush really very different from any
other president in this regard? Harry Truman and his famous stopped
buck aside, taking responsibility for specific mistakes is not exactly
something that most politicians are noted for.

As a matter of curiosity, I did a Nexis search in the Washington Post
for "Clinton w/10 ‘take responsibility.’" I got 44 hits, and of those
only two were actually examples of Clinton taking responsibility for
some kind of mistake…

Drum asks for further examples of Clinton apologizing for his mistakes (general apologies for America’s historical injustices don’t count), though I’m sure he’d gladly accept comments on the general principle as well.


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