Thursday, September 13, 2007

Price to Pay

Well I'm glad to see that the Democrats are coming out strong against Boehner and his outrageous comment on the "small" price to pay, the lives of over 3,000 soldiers and marines is no "small" price to pay. Howard Dean and John Kerry have come out against Boehner's comment and now the DCCC Chair Van Hollen has demanded an apology from Boehner to all members of the military. I applaud Van Hollen's comment and his timely response to this outrage.

I have just one quibble. I wish we would stop asking for apologies. For some reason it is widely regarded as a strong response, but it has long since, I believe, stopped being so. When an apology is demanded, the other side can merely refuse to grant one, on almost any flimsy excuse, and then successfully strike a pose of not bending under pressure. The upshot is that if sufficiently shameless (think today's Republicans) the person from whom an apology is demanded can come out looking the stronger. I would much prefer if we would offer a comment more along the lines of "Boehner's comment was outrageous and an insult to all of the men and women who serve so bravely in our armed forces. It is a profound shame that this sort of callous and selfish comment has become so typical of the leadership of the Republican party. It is a disgrace that comments this insulting to the military fits so well in the rhetoric of the Republican party." And more along the same lines. Don't demand anything in return, leave it to Boehner and his allies to respond or not, without making a challenge. But use the opportunity to disparage the honor and integrity of anyone who would say such a thing, spelling out exactly why it is an outrage.



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