Apology Absurdity

If this post takes on a slightly irritated tone, it’s because I haven’t been sleeping well for the past few nights. No big deal – that happens to me occasionally. But when it happens, things tend to get on my nerves. This is one of those things.

During Obama’s little healthcare speech last week, Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina got a little fired up and thought Obama was lying. Apparently forgetting he was addressing thePresident during a joint session of Congress, as opposed to being on a school playground, he yelled out, “You lie!”

Pretty rude thing to do, and a lot of people freaked out. You could tell they were freaked out, because there was a lot of gasping in the room, which is the universal sign for being freaked out.

Later that night, after being told to apologize by his superiors, Rep. Wilson called the White House and apologized to both the President and the Vice-President. I’m not sure why he apologized to the Vice-President, since he didn’t call the VP a liar, but he probably figured what the heck, might as well go the extra mile here. Maybe Biden was in the room when he called the President, and it was awkward, so he probably said, “And while I’m at it, Mr. VP, I apologize to you as well.”  Who knows. Anyway, Obama later said he appreciated and accepted the apology, and everything was cool.  Well, maybe he didn’t say “everything was cool,” but hey, you don’t know – he could have. I can picture Obama saying something like that.

The important thing – Wilson was rude to the President, he apologized to the President, the President accepted the apology, and that should have been it. But no, friends, it’s not, because we’re dealing with Congress here. It seems that there is an outcry from other Congresspeople that Wilson make a public apology to all of them as well, and he has responded, “Go pound sand.” Or words to that effect.

Congress has responded, “If you don’t apologize, we’re going to issue a joint resolution/reprimand/thing against you. So there.” To which Wilson again responded, “Go pound sand.”

The lesson here for all of us? If you screw up, apologize to the person or persons you screwed up to. Hopefully that person or persons will forgive you, which it seems like Obama did. There is, however, no need to apologize to other people just because they happened to be in the room and witness your screw-up. As near as I can tell, the other members of Congress weren’t harmed in any way.

If, however, those witnesses demand an apology, I’ve always been a fan of the expression: “Go pound sand.”

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