‘Apology tour’ lie exposed? What lie?
posted at 11:37 am on October 24, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
In the midst of their high-fiving over the president’s “commanding” performance in Monday night’s presidential debate, liberals are finding time to express their righteous indignation over Mitt Romney’s mention of Obama’s 2009 “apology tour.”
When ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos asked after the debate, “Any glaring misstatements by either candidate?” Senior Political Correspondent Jonathan Karl harrumphed, “The President didn’t apologize for America. He did acknowledge some mistakes that the United States had made, but there’s no way you could really call it ‘an apology tour.’”
Ditto for CNN, which branded the characterization as “False” and the Christian Science Monitor, which did back flips in its effort to discredit the claim, simultaneously taking Republicans to task for their own arrogance in not accepting the gospel according to the “fact-checkers.”
The president didn’t need their help. He was in full denial mode during the debate, when he declared:
Nothing Governor Romney just said is true, starting with this notion of me apologizing. This has been probably the biggest whopper that’s been told during the course of this campaign. And every fact checker and every reporter who’s looked at it, Governor, has said this is not true.
On second thought, maybe he did need their help.
What seems to be lost in all the back-and-forth is the notion of literality. Did the president, while standing on foreign soil, in 2009, use the word apologize or apology when describing the past actions of the United States? No. Is either of those words or a phrase such as I’m sorry or forgive me a necessary condition for declaring an utterance to be apologetic? Before you answer, consider the following hypotheticals:
“Yipes, I guess I made a mess of that!”
“That was indiscreet of Tom. I would have expected more of him.”
“My wife loses control when she has a few drinks.”
Compare those examples with this actual statement by the president:
In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic Union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.
A compendium of other similar statements can be found here, but the single example suffices to point up a mode of behavior that should have been odious and offensive to every American. It would have been had the speaker been someone other than a man in whom so many invested hope. The unwillingness of those on the left now, after four years, to concede that Obama’s words were not only apologetic but wrong-headed just shows how partisan and small-minded they are.
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