Monday was a red letter day for politics junkies. It gave us a rare chance to witness examples of two distinct, classic styles of phony-baloney political “apologies” on the same day.
Phony Apology #2:
In today’s must-read, Ed Driscoll at Instapundit does an excellent job of rounding up and analyzing the theatrics of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s strategy for wiggling out of calls for his resignation over his blackface/KKK photo scandal.
Northam is trying the “I’m truly sorry, but isn’t this really society’s fault?” style of phony apology popularized by Bart Simpson and, as the late Charles Krauthammer noted, Barack Obama. When Obama made a mistake, such as blaming police racism for incidents that later turned out not to be racially-motivated, he would say that this shows the deep divisions and historical problems in America for which this was a “teachable moment” – in other words, it was his mistake, but it was the fault of all the rest of us that he made it so we needed to be taught a lesson.
Northam is trying to claim that all the upset over his past shows “that we still have a lot of work to do” in “the area of equity,” and he’s the person to heal these deep wounds, so he’s going to impose “sensitivity training” on everyone from his Cabinet officers to kids in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Just out of curiosity: how many of them posed for school photos in blackface or a Klan hood? Because I could swear that was only him (although with the Virginia Democratic leadership, you never know.) How about if he undergoes “sensitivity training,” and while he’s at it, he could be trained to be sensitive enough to know that when a baby has been born and needs medical attention, you get it to a hospital, you don’t hold a debate.
The “my mistake is really the fault of American culture” scam is a popular one among Democrats that, as Driscoll notes, has been used to excuse everything from Franklin Roosevelt putting Japanese-Americans into internment camps to Lyndon Johnson escalating the Vietnam War.
Say, maybe if we all get together and apologize to Northam for our racism that made him do that, he’ll agree to stay on!