Friday, September 11, 2009

Wilson: Not that sorry . . .

By Bernie Quigley

- for The Hill on 9/11/09

The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank reports that John Boehner, the House Republican Leader, was a half hour late for a meeting today because he was trying to get Joe Wilson to say he was sorry. Wilson said he already said he was sorry.

How sorry is he? Hold a press conference sorry? Cry in public sorry? Go on Oprah sorry? Mark Sanford sorry? Go on Oprah and cry sorry? Milbank says the problem is that although he said he’s sorry, he wasn’t that sorry.

It’s not easy to be sorry or know how much sorry is always enough. Love is never having to say you’re sorry they said in a novel about Al Gore once. But John Lennon came back then and said love is always having to say your sorry. Hard to say.

The real problem is that this astonishing outburst during the President’s speech was, as Wilson said, “spontaneous.” Like lightning or a flood. By which he meant he didn’t really mean it. But it is maybe unhealthy to be sorry about something spontaneous. It just comes out. And that is what the President, generously forgiving and forgetting, figured. Nancy Pelosi too at first, then she wanted more sorry. And Nancy Pelosi knows sorry like John Chisum, cattle king of the Pecos, knew cows.

But spontaneous doesn’t mean he “didn’t really mean it.” Spontaneous means “he really meant it” and it slipped out. The truth slipped out. Like a sneeze. The truth beneath the suit slipped out.

Better to know it than not know it. Or pretend it will go away if he says he’s sorry.