Dodd's apology

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Chris Dodd has offered an apology for his Lottist remarks in honor of former KKK Senator Robert Byrd. He said he wasn't thinking about his KKK past or about his vote against the civil rights act, just as Lott has said that he wasn't thinking about Thurmond's segregationist policies and was thinking more about Thurmond's foreign policy and fiscal conservatism. I argued that the cases are parallel, and Dodd's apology continues the parellel. My hypocrisy charge, given Dodd's previous criticism of Lott, stands.

I've said this before somewhere or other that I'm not going try to find (maybe not even on my own blog). Hypocrisy charges are a prima facie matter. Repentance can demonstrate that it's not hypocrisy but a matter of slipping below one's own standards temporarily. We all do that. In this case, Dodd admits by his own words that what he did was very similar to what he had previously criticized Trent Lott very strongly for doing. That's not repentance, and by his own earlier standards he should repent. His apology had the sound of being sorry for those who misinterpreted what he said, not apologizing for the wrongness of what he said. That's fine if there isn't anything wrong with what he said, and he realizes that there isn't anything wrong with what he said. However, he's already gone on record saying that there's something dreadfully wrong with politicians saying this sort of thing.

Hat tip to Instapundit.

Update: In an effort to put off my large pile of grading to get done by early next week as long as possible, I decided to search anyway to see if I'd said anything about the hypocrisy thing on my own blog. I did say something briefly about it when discussing Senator Clinton's Apu flap, which she apologized for (and I'm not sure her case is that much different from Lott and Dodd's in general). I don't think I said it as clearly there as I thought I'd said it somewhere, so it must have been in a comment on someone else's blog, perhaps someone criticizing someone of hypocrisy who did in fact repent. I think I even remember whose blog and what post, and unfortunately the comments there all got zeroed out from switching to built-in comments on a new location.

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