Streetwise Professor

July 25, 2009

A Trenchant Observation from Mrs. SWP

Filed under: Politics — The Professor @ 8:19 am

“How come Obama finds it so easy to apologize for the United States for just about everything, but finds it impossible to apologize for his own words or actions?”

“Calibrate my words.”  Fie.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. …because he is the best in the business of being a politician? A good politician is by definition someone who sees how others might have been led to a mistake and never falls into any of those traps himself – not even when caught red handed.

    Comment by Surya — July 25, 2009 @ 11:13 am

  2. Professor, somethings gotten wrong with the spam filter again – my comment appeared and then disappeared. Not that the comment was important – just a heads up.

    Comment by Surya — July 25, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

  3. What? Obama is extremely apologetic all the time.


    Compare that to Bush who never apologized for anything. You seem to have an incredibly warped worldview.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — July 25, 2009 @ 12:49 pm

  4. S/O. Second hand account of a private apology, not a public one. You make a public insult, you should make a public apology. He weaseled. What’s more, the specific statement cited is of the “I didn’t mean to offend anybody” variety, which is the lamest sort of non-apology masquerading as an apology.

    Yes. Obama is apologetic all the time. For what other people do/have done.

    Re Bush. He never insulted the disabled, and he didn’t apologize to everybody ad nauseum for the US, so you need to compare apples and apples.

    And your whataboutism, heretofore limited to the its traditional Russian context, has now bled over into the tiresome, all-purpose tool for shielding Obama from any accountability. The canned response to any criticism of Obama is: “What about Bush. What about Bush.” Bush is so 2000-2008. I am disappointed that rather than arguing on the merits, as I believe you are capable of doing, you stoop to the most hackneyed rhetorical defense mechanisms. This isn’t about Bush, and even if it were, two wrongs don’t make a right. An

    This time, Obama could not bring himself to apologize even though he (a) flapped his jaws about a situation of which he was admittedly ignorant of material facts, (b) despite such ignorance, accused somebody doing their job (a job he knows nothing about) of acting “stupidly”, and (c) inserted his narcissistic self in a situation that was none of his damn business, thereby transforming what should have been a routine matter between the individuals involved into a national issue. But rather than man up and say he fucked up, he has to try to dress it up with evasions like “teaching moment” and “calibration.”

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — July 25, 2009 @ 1:08 pm

  5. Isn’t the irony of the whole Gates-Cambridge police story one of whom was racially profiling whom. Gates, the quintessential academic victim studies hack, performed as expected. Good on the white cop for not cowering.

    Having worked a fair part of my professional life on Psych Crisis Units I’ve been where that cop has been. Having read the official report on the it’s clear Gates was the fool. The cop followed a well reasoned protocol when dealing with an agitated person that refuses to de-escalate. Had Gates returned to his house found a firearm and started shooting it would have been on that cop’s head. Police and mental health people don’t take those chances.

    And, Obama, he’s an idiot to have even raised the subject. Out great “racial healer” of the Church of Reverand Wright is anything but. He had no damn pressure on him to make a statement about an incident that was a non-event until he made it one. His comment that it is a “teachable moment” made me want to throw up. What’s the lesson? A decent cop that made a decent judgement call with black officers present and in agreement mind you and a race victim hack which he’ll monitize this episode as they all do negating Obama’s America as racist garbage. That’s the lesson as I see it.

    Obama is no better than Gates, the race hustler.

    We ALL know police officers with giant ass chips on their shoulders.

    I don’t know that many officers with that attitude and I see cops on a daily basis over the years, but, please far from me to spoil your rant. And, “giant ass chips on their shoulders” doesn’t apply to blacks like Gates? And, in just what context have you seen these officers that you describe?

    Comment by penny — July 25, 2009 @ 7:27 pm

  6. Professor Gates needed to be removed from his property to a different location for lots of good reasons. Allowing an agitated person who refuses to de-escalate access to his house where weapons may or may not exist is stupid. That a busy and over-scheduled D.A. chose not to pursue the case is meaningless. It’s an everyday event where DA’s prioritize cases with what will be a waste of time and taxpayer money is the priority. And please demonstrate where Officer Crowley “behaved badly”? Factually and by standard police protocol which he adhered to? His peers nor his superiors had any fault with his behavior.

    Disorderly conduct is a very common arrest and for very good reasons as it is a public safety issue. Outside of law enforcement it will put you in a psych unit involuntarily again for good reason if you refuse to pull yourself together.

    By the way, did you read the public transcripts? Obviously Obama did or he wouldn’t have been back on the airwaves yesterday backpeddling. Your are the classic lefty. Context and facts mean nothing, dredging up old historic racism diversions to shore up your fact challenged position is what you are doing. Your hypotheticals are lame.

    I can tell you first hand that when a verbally agitated person is in my presence, race is not a consideration, my safety, the staff’s safety and the safety of the waiting area is paramount and that person will be removed to an isolated place until order and a further assessment is made. Your unsubstantiated smear of police officers as.. “We ALL know police officers with giant ass chips on their shoulders”…is factless. I don’t know them and I see cops every day. You’ve simply made an assumption.

    Like Obama you’d be smart to just give it up. Smears, assumptions, lack of facts and generalities aren’t working out for you.

    Comment by penny — July 25, 2009 @ 9:27 pm

  7. Folks: Speaking of de-escalation, let’s de-escalate the personal stuff.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — July 25, 2009 @ 10:12 pm

  8. S/O. I don’t expect any president to apologize for policy judgments. This is quite different. Obama, without knowing the facts, and admitting that he did not know the facts, leveled an accusation about someone’s professional and personal conduct. This is the kind of thing that can destroy lives. So this is not a matter of apologizing for policies, or for official acts that turn out to have been mistaken. This is a matter of recognizing responsibility for a gratuitous personal injury.

    Someone in a position of such power should be extremely careful about interjecting himself/herself in this way in things that are, quite frankly, not his business. If there was in fact misconduct, Obama’s intervention has prejudiced any investigation thereof. In the military, what he did is considered an inappropriate exercise of command authority. It is also unwise politically, because it diminishes the office that he holds.

    Re apology. Yeah, like I said, he never said “I’m so sorry.” But it is clear that (a) that’s what his audiences heard, and (b) it was predictable that that’s what they heard. And regardless of whether you call it apologizing or admitting a mistake, it is still quite clear that Obama is more than willing to point out quite bluntly other people’s mistakes–from former presidents to bankers to small city cops–but is incapable of manfully acknowledging his own.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — July 25, 2009 @ 10:53 pm

  9. IMHO – Obama knew very the political maelstrom his comment would create. I think it is some form of getting back at the system. I am sure he would have experienced racial injustice over the years and I guess he vowed that one day he would get back at it from a position of power. Now he had his chance. To him it really didnt matter if he knew the facts or not – he had gotten himself in a position of power and he wanted to chastise someone for the injustices done to him long back. I have seen this in India, where people long suppressed when they come to power, do make it a point to get back at “someone”. Yes it would destroy careers – but so did racism many times in the past. We really cant expect fairness in life – or for people to be balanced and forgiving. And of course for politicians it’s always been words first and damage control later.

    Comment by Surya — July 25, 2009 @ 11:33 pm

  10. Surya–I’m not so sure it was conscious, but it may have been unconscious. Given the milieu in which he operated for the past decades (as his friendship with Gates demonstrates) it would be amazing indeed if he did not harbor grievances of this sort. But he harmed himself tremendously by dropping this mask–consciously or unconsciously.

    I know that life isn’t fair. Believe me.

    And to S/O and others. There is a very large number of people in the US who believe that Obama is a serial apologizer. You may consider it just “acknowledging mistakes”–but the perception is that he is apologizing. It ain’t just me . . . and the perception is the reality.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — July 26, 2009 @ 10:11 am

  11. I felt as though he didn’t want to let this go and wasn’t that bothered about being politically correct. I am 100% sure if this had come up during his campaign, the response would have been very very different. Thats why I when I heard him letting down that guard that he has mastered so well – I felt it wasn’t all that spontaneous as it seemed. As regards harming himself – public memory fades rather too quickly , doesn’t it?

    Comment by Surya — July 26, 2009 @ 11:46 am

  12. It ain’t just me . . . and the perception is the reality.

    You do realize that you’ve just totally justified my approach to defending Russia and Putinism? Thanks. 😉

    (Because indeed, it ain’t just me but 80% of the Russian population. And their perception is indeed their reality… ).

    But on a more serious note, I don’t think apologizing by the US does any great spiritual harm to it since it is unequivocally the most powerful Great Power. Its competitors like Russia and China have inferiority complexes, hence not so many apologies from them. As such you could even say that apologizing is an expression of strength, and self-confidence.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — July 26, 2009 @ 1:53 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress