Let me start this column by saying I know I'm not God's gift to -- well, to anyone, unless maybe my mother.
Often, I fall into some luck and get something accomplished. At least as often, I goof up and find myself another step backward.
Come to think of it, everything I write in this column or in all my columns could be wrong.
Why the humility? Because I'd rather confess my shortcomings now than see my career and life crumble. Over the years, I've witnessed the lives of too many others fall apart, often shortly after it looked like they could do no wrong.
Take the Bush administration. It's had to back down or apologize more times in the past six months than in the previous six years. Most recently, it was over the alleged politically motivated dismissals of some U.S. attorneys. But that's just the latest example.
The president, for so long cocky and defiant, has apparently come to the painful realization that with friends and political associates like his, who needs enemies? Too many supposed allies have lied to him over the years. Now he seems to sense that his original confidence was built on faulty ground.
To Bush's credit, he looks to me to be one of only a few major public figures right now who have been able to swallow their pride and exhibit a change in attitude. It's been for the better.
Over the past 10 years, the Republican Party has been on a roll in state after state. Then -- perhaps predictably -- everybody seemed to get too big for their britches. Nonstop are now coming stories of this Republican governor or that throwing a fit in private, or defiantly making unpopular political appointments or public edicts.
Even state legislators have gotten into the act. In some GOP-controlled states, where Republican majority power is still a fairly new concept, top legislative leaders too often prance around their capitol buildings, dismissing the press, pushing blatantly unpopular bills, or opposing good and reasonable legislation on narrow philosophical grounds.
Even some outspoken and believed infallible media darlings have taken a tumble. Ann Coulter finally spewed one too many off-the-cuff mean comments. Now she's been tossed by many newspapers and must go to the "Martha Stewart School for Nice Makeovers."
Coulter wouldn't have been shot down by her own supporters had she been a little less pious and admitted that she is fallible, like the rest of us humans.
I don't want to wish her ill. We all misspeak and regret our comments. On the plus side, Ann's experience may prove instructive to all who tend to comment too harshly.