An Apology and a Clarification

David Letterman has apologized to Sarah Palin and her family, this time with at least apparent sincerity. Governor Palin promptly accepted Letterman’s apology–rubbing it in just a bit–“on behalf of all young women, like my daughters, who hope men who ‘joke’ about public displays of sexual exploitation of girls will soon evolve.”

Leon Panetta, meanwhile, has backed off his suggestion that former Vice-President Dick Cheney may want terrorists to attack the U.S. so that his policies will be vindicated. The CIA, which Panetta heads, issued a statement that said, in part:

The Director does not believe the former Vice President wants an attack,” CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said in a statement to CNN. “He did not say that. He was simply expressing his profound disagreement with the assertion that President Obama’s security policies have made our country less safe. Nor did he question anyone’s motives.

Panetta did, of course, question Cheney’s motives, as we noted last night. But it’s a good thing for the country that he has beaten a retreat.

What do these two incidents have in common? Possibly this: both Letterman and Panetta live inside the liberal bubble, where it is open season on Republicans, all the time. There is virtually nothing that can be said about Republicans, in their world, that will raise a question or objection. I think it is sometimes easy for liberals to forget that there is a broader world out there, where not everyone assumes Republicans are evil, and worse yet–who could believe it?–Republicans actually exist. Hence the gaffes that occur when liberals say publicly the sorts of things they are accustomed to saying among friends.

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