Wednesday, February 09, 2005

"I'm Not Saying What I Just Got Done Saying"

My 3-year-old daughter, like all kids that age, is testing me these days. Rather, she's testing the limits I've set and the distance she can push me before... (ahem)... Daddy gets angry. One of the lessons we're trying to impart is that simply saying she's sorry doesn't get her off the hook when 1) she clearly knew what she was about to do was wrong, and 2) when she immediately does it again after saying she's sorry. I tell her that saying she didn't mean it and then going ahead and doing what she says she doesn't mean to do isn't going to be acceptable, at all. I don't know any parents anywhere who don't go through the same thing and try to pass on the same lesson. It's pretty basic.

That's why when I read stories like this one, I really cringe. The crux of the story is that the Mayor of Baltimore isn't happy with the budget President Bush sent to Congress. Like most of the vocal left in this country these days, simply saying that and then backing it up with solid reasoning just isn't in the playbook for the Mayor. No, the President didn't deliver a budge to Congress, here. He initiated an attack on the cities of the United States. That's right - the President of the United States is attacking this countries cities.

::::::::"Back on September 11, terrorists attacked our metropolitan cores, two of America's great cities. They did that because they knew that was where they could do the most damage and weaken us the most," O'Malley said. "Years later, we are given a budget proposal by our commander in chief, the president of the United States. And with a budget ax, he is attacking America's cities. He is attacking our metropolitan core."::::::::

So this Mayor of one of America's largest cities hands off this wonderful sound bite obviously comparing the President's budget with the actions of 19 terrorists who killed around 3000 people that day in September. How do I know that's what he was doing? Because I can read, and that's what he said. After a few folks brought up that the comparison was way, way over the line, he says:

::::::::O'Malley told The Washington Post he didn't intend to equate the proposed budget cuts to a terrorist attack.

"The point I am trying to make is, for America to be strong, we have to strengthen our cities. Because we're in the middle of a war, we need to be strengthening and protecting our cities, not weakening our cities," he said.

And here's the 3-year-old moment. How can one say what O'Malley said about 9/11 and the budget and reasonably expect that people wouldn't think you were equating the two items? And then expect people to just shrug it off because he says, basically, he didn't mean it? It was crass. It was stupid. It was unjustifiable and he needs to apologize for it. Not qualify it, not apologize conditionally. He needs to say, "Hey, that was uncalled for and I'm sorry I made the comment. Won't happen again." Period. End statement. Then feel free to tell us what your point should have been.

Too much to ask, probably. At least he didn't say "crisis." That would have gotten the Democrats all up in arms for sure.