Yet Another Non-Apology Apology12 November, 2008
Paul Broun (R-GA), in (extremely delayed) response to Barack Obama’s call for national service, including a non-military security force:
“That’s exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it’s exactly what the Soviet Union did. When he’s proposing to have a national security force that’s answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he’s showing me signs of being Marxist.”
“We can’t be lulled into complacency,” Broun added. “You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I’m not comparing him to Adolf Hitler. What I’m saying is there is the potential.”
Today, he almost apologized. He said:
“I regret putting it that way,” he told WGAC radio in Augusta, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “I apologize to anyone who has taken offense at that.” (Both quotes from CNN Political Ticker.)
Please notice that he does not regret what he said, he regrets “putting it that way.” So he thinks that what he said was okay, but could have done better in the phrasing department. Maybe he meant socialist, not Marxist; Fascist Italy, not Nazi Germany; Peoples Republic of China, not the Soviet Union; Mussolini, not Adolf Hitler. He does not apologize for what he said, merely how he said it.
Also, he “apologize[s] to anyone who has taken offense at that.” I can be a nitpicker when it comes to language. The only people he apologizes to for his misphrasing are those who took offense. Which is, I suppose, slightly better than apologizing if anyone was offended.
What if Broun had actually take possession of his own mistake and issued a real apology? I know he won’t, so I will for him: “I compared our President-elect to two of the most brutal dictators of the 20th century. I am an idiot. I do not know my history. I am merely repeating right-wing talking points fed to me by Fox News. I am sorry I said it.” There, was that so hard?