Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin is fast approaching some higher plane of hackdom far enough removed from the gravitational centers of logic and sense that the fundamental laws of punditry no longer apply. This morning she joins the chorus of conservatives defending Mitt Romney's false claim at last night's debate that President Obama went on an "apology tour," arguing that Obama, in the very act of criticizing the foreign policy of his predecessor George W. Bush, was indeed "apologizing for this nation."
I will focus on two major apologies that have been deliberately and forcefully delivered by the president and/or top aides.
The first is our handling of the war on terror. Liberals don't even see that Obama's excoriating his predecessor is apologizing for this nation, but of course it is. George W. Bush wasn't acting as a private citizen, and whatever he actions he took were done in the name of the United States.
So it most certainly was an apology (often repeated) when Obama decried: "Unfortunately, faced with an uncertain threat, our government made a series of hasty decisions. ... I also believe that all too often our government made decisions based on fear rather than foresight; that all too often our government trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions. Instead of strategically applying our power and our principles, too often we set those principles aside as luxuries that we could no longer afford. And during this season of fear, too many of us -- Democrats and Republicans, politicians, journalists, and citizens -- fell silent. In other words, we went off course." That version was delivered on national TV, albeit from U.S. soil but it was a confession to be sure.
Here's a fun question: if criticizing the commander-in-chief for actions taken in the name of the United States constitutes "apologizing for this nation," then aren't people like Mitt Romney and Jennifer Rubin, who have spent the last four years doing little beyond that, serial America apologists?
And doesn't that render the title of Romney's book, No Apology, which is sharply critical of the president's foreign policy, a lie?