April 04, 2004
Posted by Jon Henke
In the wake of our recent criticism of Democrats Corrine Brown (D-FL) and Kos, it's only fair to point out unacceptable rhetoric from the right side of the aisle, too. And this comment from Senator Bunning about his opponent is clearly unacceptable...
"I have to tell you he looks like one of Saddam Hussein's sons... I mean before they were dead, of course...I really mean that he looks like one of Saddam's sons, and he even dresses like them, too."Worse, his campaign initially denied he said it...until they found out, oops, the comment had been caught on videotape. Then, they were suddenly all..."oh, yeah..well, he said it, but it wasn't a big deal and a lot of people thought it was funny, and we're sorry and all, but you should just drop it. K?"
Then, when he did apologize, Bunning's campaign said this...
"We're sorry if this joke, which got a lot of laughs, offended anyone."Color me unimpressed. He's not sorry for telling the joke....he's just sorry if other people didn't like it. That's not an apology. Hell, he even defended it while pretending to "apologize".
Look, I'm a big believer in this: criticise remarks that are beyond the pale...and then accept a genuine apology. When Hillary Clinton made a similarly offensive remark, she apologized.
Fine. That's all you have to do. Intemperate moments happen to all of us.
But, as with Kos, Bunning doesn't seem to know what it is exactly that he did wrong. His "apology" is nearly as offensive as the initial remark.
Worse, the pundits and commenters at places like Atrios, Pandagon and others have tried to play down the remark. "Oh, sure, it wasn't a great choice of words....but, you know, those right-wingers. Who are they to criticise?"
In other words, not guilty by reason of they-did-it-too.
Well, bull. Bunning is an idiot; Corrine Brown is an idiot; Kos is an idiot - and all of them deserve non-partisan criticism, not "yes, but" criticism.