A perfect portrait of the sad state of American politics
Does anyone else find this headline as incredibly disheartening as I do? Via The Atlantic:
Yes, Romney’s “47%” comment might be earning him some negative headlines and it might even cost him some votes. But is the solution to just “take it back”?
“Time and again, Romney doubles down rather than admit he’s erred,” author Molly Ball writes. This claim is working off the assumption that he’s erred in the first place, which seems to define an error as a statement some people don’t agree with.
She goes on: “For better or worse, Romney — the author of a book called No Apology – has adopted a policy of never admitting to having erred.” Hmm… that actually sounds like a more apt description of Barack Obama, but I digress.
Ball also contends the reason for Romney’s lack of apologies is a general fear of being labeled a “flip-flopper.”
It’s not clear whether this is because Romney successfully put the flip-flopper thing to rest, or because his opponent took a different strategic tack than expected and Romney failed to adapt, still fighting the 2008 war instead.
Would Romney be any better off politically admitting he screwed up from time to time? Could he have better repaired the damage had he come out last night and said, “Oops, that was terrible, I didn’t mean that”? Maybe, maybe not.
For definitive advice on how to effectively walk back a mea culpa, Ball turns to… Al Sharpton. His sage advice?
The first thing you should say is, “I shouldn’t have said it.” You don’t justify something. If you said something that’s wrong or that was stated wrongly, say that. The public can accept a mistake. What they can’t accept is you digging in and it’s an obvious mistake.
I respectfully disagree with the reverend. I, for one, am sick of hearing politicians caught in a moment of unscripted truth only to walk it back with political spin. We are clearly living in the age of a telepromptered presidency and it saddens me to think that voters might now believe they don’t deserve more from their elected representatives.
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