Perfect people make me nervous.
(And I should know – I was raised by one, and married another.)
Perfect people think that apologizing for anything is a sign of weakness.
And we cannot have weakness for that would destroy our illusion of power and control.
After all, if I admit to making a mistake now, perhaps the next thing I do will also be wrong, and the next and the one after that, and before I know it, all my minions will desert me and I will be alone and impotent and helpless.
This kind of thinking is bad enough in interpersonal relationships, but it becomes downright dangerous when applied to government.
People took note in 2004 when President Bush, while campaigning for reelection, stated that he couldn’t think of anything he’d done wrong in the previous four years despite ample evidence to the contrary.
It’s happening again, after a fashion, with the Cheney shooting incident.
Up until now (Tuesday evening) Cheney has not mentioned the episode, let alone explained or apologized for it publicly. That’s over three days.
He has reportedly visited the victim in hospital and perhaps apologized privately, but that needs to be made public, if for no other reason than to set an example, as a public figure must do. Like it or not, he is a role model. If Cheney can behave like a boor without repercussions, what hope is there for our children?
Sure accidents happen. The last thing anybody wanted was this kind of news story. Whether or not Cheney was actually negligent (and that remains to be seen) he did something wrong, and needs to own up to it, express regret and take appropriate steps to remedy the situation as far as possible, and ensure it doesn’t happen again.
He may well be doing this, but he needs to do it for all to see.
Otherwise he is the perfect living metaphor for the Bush-Cheney administration.