It's important that we don't let Dick Durbin off the hook too quickly. And, it's important that we not let his shills and enablers turn the tables by saying Republicans are merely attacking him to switch the subject from our alleged abuse of terrorist POWs.
That's basically what Fox News' Juan Williams did when he grudgingly admitted that Durbin's likening of Gitmo to the genocidal Soviet, Cambodian and Nazi regimes was over the top. The decent, though persistently misguided Williams said that Durbin's crude comparison should not detract from his very important point: that America is abusing prisoners in Guantanamo.
Precisely the reverse is true, Juan. Your reiteration of the bogus charges of torture at the hands of the American military in lame defense of the disloyal and unrepentant Illinois senator must not detract our attention from the unconscionably seditious and unretracted slander he uttered.
Durbin refused to apologize, blaming his hearers for misunderstanding his words, but standing by their content. He did not pretend his statements were made in error, though some of his defenders have said just that, recasting his subsequent remarks as though he'd sheepishly confessed to misspeaking.
Such a ploy doesn't pass the laugh test for anyone watching the video of Durbin's outburst, because he was clearly reading from a prepared, written statement. He knew precisely what he was saying, having crafted his exact words for maximum effect prior to taking the Senate floor.
Durbin's utterance of the remarks after plenty of time for cool and calm reflection coupled with his stubborn unwillingness to apologize eliminate the need for further discussion as to whether he merely misspoke. He may not have anticipated any backlash and thus regrets having brought himself into mild disrepute, but that's a far cry from having a change of heart about the words he spoke.
I applaud those Republican Congressmen who have publicly denounced Durbin for this outrage, but believe such denunciations have been too few and too tame. They have also failed to take to task the entire Democratic Party leadership, starting with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, for either affirmatively defending Durbin or neglecting to rebuke him.