President Obama is right that fact-checkers routinely declare it to be a “myth” that he has apologized for America.Indeed, right on cue, a CNN Fact Check concludes:
Romney's claim is false. The president has mentioned past U.S. mistakes and flaws during speeches about the larger issues of building bridges to other countries. But he has never apologized or gone on an "apology tour."Rubin deftly exposes the myth that the president's apology tour is a myth, but I'd like to illustrate it another way. Here is a quote from the Summit of the Americans often cited as an Obama apology:
While the United States has done much to promote peace and prosperity in the hemisphere, we have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms. … So I’m here to launch a new chapter of engagement that will be sustained throughout my administration. The United States will be willing to acknowledge past errors where those errors have been made.Now, let's re-imagine that statement in another context:
Barack: Michelle, while I have done much to promote peace and prosperity in our family, I have at times been disengaged, and at times I sought to dictate my terms. … So I’m here to launch a new chapter of engagement that will be sustained throughout our marriage. I will be willing to acknowledge past errors where those errors have been made.
Michelle: Thank you, Honey, I appreciate the apology.
Barack: I didn't apologize.Ironically, the statement above would probably not be a sufficient apology for most wives. But to deny that it was any apology at all? It doesn't take a Shakespeare to imagine how the remainder of that scene would play out.