Personal responsibility has gone the way of the Dodo. It’s dead. Apologies are no longer unequivocal, they are qualified. People aren’t “sorry,” they’re “sorry if anyone was offended.” We have become a nation of victims whose mistakes, missteps and downright lies are absolved through deflection, not penance. We’re now a nation of martyrs, misunderstood by others seeking only to change the subject and move on.
The most famous example of this “I’m sorry you…” were too stupid to know I was lying is, of course, President Obama’s “lie of the year.” Dozens of times, he unequivocally reassured skeptical Americans they could keep their doctors and health insurance plans if they liked them. Unbeknownst to us, this was accompanied by an unspoken parenthetical – something along the lines of “unless we deem otherwise – that he never vocalized and denied until the claim began to rival Baghdad Bob’s declaration of Iraqi military superiority even as American tanks entered over his shoulder.
“Now, if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed,” the president said
Once he’d reached the tipping point and the lie no longer was operable, the president’s apology was akin to spouse caught cheating saying, “I’m sorry you gained so much weight that I don’t find you attractive,” then insisting the apology has occurred and the spouse should just get over it.
As the victims of his lies dealt with their new government-imposed reality, the president said, “I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me.” Those “assurances” were lies, for which there still has been no apology.
He continued, “We've got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and we are going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this.” He’s the martyr here, going to “work hard” to help the people who believed his lie. His actions caused millions of Americans’ lives to be traumatized, the “consequence of this,” so to speak, but he’s on the case so don’t worry about it.