Some counter that he should apologize because it’s simply the right thing to do.

This ignores the fact that we long ago lost the art of accepting apologies in these situations. If the request for an apology is disingenuous, and any apology offered will be used as a cudgel, we can’t be surprised that rational people are offering fewer of them, sincere or not.

Those who mourn the increase of shamelessness in our body politic (and I’m one of them!), should also be wary of how much we cheapen contrition with constant and cynical demands for it.

There is a lot of space between not liking what people said 10 years ago and demanding their jobs. We should embrace that space. It doesn’t mean you endorse what they said just because you don’t think they should be fired for their old, bad thoughts.