Stone: Bush Needs to Admit Errors
"Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me." Note the passive voice. President Bush does not admit, "I made mistakes." Rather, others made mistakes, but he (graciously) takes responsibility. This is a far cry from Harry Truman's "The buck stops here." If Bush wants to win back the trust of the American people, he has to begin by being honest with them.
"I have made grievous mistakes, and those mistakes have resulted in a national disaster. I persuaded the Congress and the American people that the United States needed to invade Iraq in order to remove weapons of mass destruction. I was wrong. There were no weapons of mass destruction. I assured the Congress and the American people that the war in Iraq would be easy. I was wrong. More Americans have been killed in Iraq than were killed on 9/11, the war has already cost the nation hundreds of billions of dollars, and there is no end in sight. I assured the American people that we had sufficient troop strength in Iraq to quell the insurgency and that the Iraqi government would take responsibility for the safety of the Iraqi people. I was wrong, again, on both counts."
As the polls shows, Americans know all this, but the president cannot bring himself to say it. There is no way he will regain the respect or trust of the American people unless and until he fully and honestly acknowledges his mistakes. The passive voice will not do. It is simply another way for him to evade taking personal responsibility for his errors of judgment.
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