Socrates’ Apology resulted in his being sentenced to death by his fellow Athenians. How about Obama’s Apology? It seems to be working out well for him so far. In the Washington Times Jon Ward reports on the philosophy of apology that President Obama worked on so assiduously during his just concluded apology tour. Ward quotes David Axelrod expounding the philosophy:
David Axelrod, one of the president’s closest advisers, said Mr. Obama’s approach is one “he’s always believed in.”
“He’s always been someone who’s brought people of different views together by trying to reach a higher level of candor and honesty and understanding. And that’s worked well for him,” Mr. Axelrod said during an interview in Istanbul.
“He offers these [concessions] from a basis of pride in the country. But part of the pride we have in our country is that we’re always seeking that more perfect union, always addressing our own imperfections,” he said. “That’s a good quality, but by acknowledging that, it opens the door to be able to say, ‘Now you have your responsibilities. You have your challenges,'” he said.
It is difficult to think of an example illusrating Axelrod’s proposition that Obama has “always been someone who’s brought people of different views together.” And when Axelrod refers to “our own imperfections,” it helps to recall that the “imperfections” asserted by Obama on his apology tour were preeminently those he none too subtly attributed to George Bush and the Bush administration. When Obama builds himself up by tearing down his predecessor and confessing to the sins of his fellow citizens, he seems to be demonstrating the kind of “pride we [liberals] have in our country.”