Too often I am disappointed by the tendency in politicians of all stripes and persuasions to point the finger and spin every fact into support for themselves and their own views, regardless of what the real facts are. If things are good, it’s because we did it. If things are bad, it’s because they did it. Real apologies are perhaps the rarest kinds of statements I have ever heard coming out of Washington — perhaps because everyone fears that it will cost votes and provide a sound bite for the “other guy” to use against him or her.
Perhaps my frustration with the disingenuousness and skillful lying that is inherent in politics is one explanation for the heart rate phenomenon I wrote about earlier tonight.
So, with that thought, let me here honor Artur Davis, Democratic Representative from Alabama and member of the Congressional Black Caucus. A recent Fox News article (actually a snippet of transcript from a Hannity and Colmes segment) quotes him thusly (also so quoted in the WSJ Best of the Web that led me there):
Like a lot of my Democratic colleagues I was too slow to appreciate the recklessness of Fannie and Freddie. I defended their efforts to encourage affordable homeownership when in retrospect I should have heeded the concerns raised by their regulator in 2004. Frankly, I wish my Democratic colleagues would admit when it comes to Fannie and Freddie, we were wrong.
Mr. Davis, I do not know you personally — as far as I know, you might go home every day and kick your dog — but with that single statement, you have earned some respect from me. I don’t expect any leader to be perfect — we won’t get a perfect leader until He descends from the clouds and sets foot on the Mount of Olives. But it’s a lot easier for me to believe that a leader will have the ability to lead well when I can believe that he learns from his mistakes. And it is hard to believe that he will learn from mistakes when he admits no mistakes — even those that are obvious to everyone else. In this respect, Mr. Davis, I am sad to say that — at least based on this one quote — you don’t have many like you on either side of the aisle there in D.C. Again, I don’t know anything else about you, but at least this one respect I hope your courage spreads.
And I hope you don’t kick your dog.