Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Mistake? Who, me?

Deborah Tannen has an editorial in today’s NYTimes, discussing her take on why Bush’s refusal to admit he’s made a mistake, ever, is so infuriating: (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/12/opinion/12tannen.html)

Here’s a bit from it:

…refusing to apologize infuriates women because that makes it seem as if the guy doesn't care that he let her down, and if he doesn't care, there's no reason to think he won't do it again. This is the negative effect - the collateral damage - that Mr. Bush's "certainty" is certain to have on many women: if he won't admit he made a mistake in his handling of Iraq, it seems he doesn't care about the American soldiers killed and maimed, the civilians beheaded, about the Iraqi children blown up by insurgents' bombs.

The role of talk about "mistakes" in the rhetoric of the debate was particularly striking when Mr. Bush intoned, and repeated, that no one will follow a president who says the war was a mistake.

Tannen, you’ll recall, is the one who has made her name with essays discussing the different ways men and women communicate, and how those different ways of communicating cause miscommunication – so this is more of that. But it annoys me nonetheless.

Is she saying that only women can see there might be something wrong with re-electing a leader so lacking in introspection that he can’t possibly conceive of the possibility that he could make a mistake?

Is it only women who aren’t afraid to vote for a man who will admit to a mistake when he sees one?

I mean, is that how chickenshit Tannen thinks this nation is?

I know that’s how chickenshit Bush is – he proved that on nation television when he refused to admit he had made a mistake, ever, in all his years of presidency – but all American men? I’m thinking not.

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