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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

 
Exceptionally Sorry

by digby

It's tiresome to have to constantly battle back the ridiculous wingnut memes, but there are some worth taking on if for no other reason than that they illuminate certain right wing noise machine tropes that never seem to die.

Over at HuffPo, Howard Rodman discusses one of the biggies: the apology meme, wherein the wingnuts insist that a liberal politician is apologizing for America and making us look weak as a bunch of mewling kittens.

Rodman writes:

Sorry to say, the world can be divided into two kinds of people--those who apologize, and those who don't. Among the former are David Letterman, a man so sorry he apologized to Sarah Palin twice; and Harry Whittington, above, who made a public mea culpa for placing his face in the path of Dick Cheney's buckshot and thus detracting from his relaxation.

In the meanwhile, for real men, love means never having to say you're sorry. As Donald Rumsfeld once said, "Stuff happens." This is the crowd that delights in referring to other people as apologizers. Confessers. Admitters. Every name in the sorry black book.

Hence Obama's mid-East trip became "an apology tour." WSJ says so. American Spectator says so. Mitt Romney says so.

So pervasive is this meme, so viral, that even the good gray New York Times has gotten into the act. Today David Sanger frontpaged, "[1953] was the same year that the C.I.A. organized a coup that deposed Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq and installed the Shah -- a cold war operation for which Mr. Obama just publicly apologized during his speech at Cairo University last month."

I apologize in advance for having to disagree with Mr. Sanger--but Obama didn't apologize for the 1953 coup. Instead, the President simply stated a fact: "In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government."

Now "played a role" is in this context a wild understatement. Still: Obama's not apologizing for it. He's acknowledging it.read on



Complaining about liberal apologists (also known as unpatriotic traitors) has long been one of the primary tools of the tools, going all the way back to "who lost China" and the sellout at Yalta. This is nothing new. But at a time when the entire world is waiting with bated breath to see if the US is going to continue to operate like a rogue superpower or calm down and be a semi-sober leader in world affairs, it woulod probably be helpful if they could keep their limp little meme inside their pants.

But it really goes beyond simply lying about the apology. Whatever the Greatest Country The World Has Ever Known Or Ever Will Know does is, by definition, Good and therefore even acknowledging that we could have even played a role in something as distasteful as toppling a democratically elected government is impossible. We are ... perfect. To say otherwise is traitorous, (even though it is indisputably factually correct.)

These people really believe that the way to keep America on top is to behave like a crazed, hysterical bully lashing out at every slight and insisting that everyone acknowledge our moral superiority even though it is patently untrue. Exceptionalism means never having to say you're sorry.



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