Non Apology Apology

The firestorm that followed Eugene Robinson's comment about how weird the Santorum's grief for their baby culminated with Joe Scarborough confronting him on the issue.

What is remarkable about this exchange is how concisely Robinson demonstrated a couple leftwing tactics: the non-apology apology and the 'some people' ruse.

Let's review the happenings. When initially asked "Do you think you may have gone overboard a little bit in your criticisms of Santorum?", Robinson was shaking his head no.  His body language seemed to indicate that he did not think that he went overboard. Then the first words out of his mouth were, "What I actually said was I thought some people would think that was weird."

There it is. The ubiquitous 'some people' canard. This allows Robinson to play Pontius Pilate where any questioning of Santorum is concerned. This device allows him to distance himself from the comment while simultaneously inserting it into the conversation. We are to believe that he does not believe such inflammatory rhetoric, but that some may. Just as Pontius believes he is relieved of the responsibility of his action, so to Robinson can wash his hands of the responsibility for the comment.

He then goes on to explain "that obviously was not the right way to say what I was trying to express. And I certainly didn't mean to offend anybody, especially Mr. Santorum," followed by a labored, strained explanation reiterating that "some people, I think, are going to be, if not surprised by, at least want to more about" Santorum's faith.

No apology here. He only says that he did not articulate his thoughts well and then restated his original thought without using the word weird with a statement that he didn't mean to offend anybody separating the two.

If Robinson didn't think that his comments would offend, then he either A) really believes that it is 'some people' and not he who thinks Santorum's actions were weird, or B) he doesn't think calling somebody who is mourning the death of their newborn infant a weirdo is offensive. If B, he is a vulgarian.  If A, he really doesn't think he has anything to apologize for since he is not the one who believes the things he reported. He is no more responsible for others thinking Santorum is a weirdo than he is for reporting that 'some people' might think that Hitler did a good thing when gassing the Jews.

But I suspect he thinks Santorum is a weirdo.

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