Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Renouncing Bush's Failures Is a Start - Los Angeles Times

by Todd Gitlin - Los Angeles Times

Just last month, conservative talk-show host Joe Scarborough asked, "Is Bush an Idiot?" In May, the popular right-wing KABC-AM (790) talk-show host Doug McIntyre declared: "I was wrong to have voted for George W. Bush…. I have been shocked repeatedly by a consistent litany of excuses, alibis, doubletalk, inaccuracies, bogus predictions and flat-out lies…. After five years of carefully watching George W. Bush, I've reached the conclusion he's either grossly incompetent or a hand-puppet for a gaggle of detached theorists with their own private view of how the world works. Or both." Such reconsiderations are all to the good, and not only for the practical purpose of evacuating a sinking ship. The recantation mood is a sign of maturity. But apologies, while worthy, are never enough. To help make right what has gone badly wrong, they also must lead to rethinking.

TODD GITLIN is a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University and the author, most recently, of The Intellectuals and the Flag.

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