Friday, April 09, 2004

Condi, Condi, and more Condi

Lots of discussion over Condi's appearance before the 9/11 Commission yesterday. Consensus seems to be that she did little to bolster the administration's case (though she didn't necessarily hurt it), but did more damage to her own reputation as National Security Advisor to El Presidente. Fred Kaplan had an interesting article on Slate, pointing out a number of her flaws (most of which I already agreed with). Like me, Kaplan was disturbed when Ben-Veniste mentioned the name (for the first time) of the much-ballyhooed daily briefing: "Bin Laden Determined To Attack Inside the United States." As usual, Condi's answers don't hold much water.

I've said it before. A great deal of this mess the administration is in is self-created. Not just through arrogance and unwillingness to listen to contrary points-of-view (though there has been a great deal of that as well). There is also a rather (IMHO) terrible lack of hubris, not just on the part of El Presidente himself, but in his administration. I will continue to maintain that had he simply come out (or had administration officials come out) and said, like Richard Clarke did, "we screwed up - we're sorry," I think most of the American public would have said thank-you and moved on. But their unwillingness to consider that they did anything wrong has put them into deeper holes. Ditto for the lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Look....Americans love to forgive. Its part of our culture, probably a great deal of it due to the number of born-again Christians. They forgave Clinton quite a bit. They've forgiven Bush (again, IMHO) even more. But one thing they definitely do not like is a stubborn unwillingness to say that you did something wrong. The administration appears to have failed to grasp this, yet again. Another reason why voters are abandoning El Presidente.


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