Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
  -- Daniel Webster

Friday, September 03, 2010 :::

Senator Reid not only claims that his comment that "the [Iraq] war is lost" was not meant to be final, but claims further that his comment forced Bush to change his approach, leading to victory. In fact, the comment came four months after Bush announced the surge, which Reid opposed.

Barbara Boxer has similarly misremembered a videotaped interaction with Condoleezza Rice; the video is less flattering to Boxer than her memory is. Jim Geraghty, the blogger behind that Boxer link, ends with, "We're all crusading heroes in our own minds."

Beyond the Boxer incident, Geraghty illustrates his point with an excerpt of Robert Reich's memoir. My (second-hand) understanding is that that Reich memoir is about as egregious an example of this as you will find; not only is he smarter, wiser, and more honorable than everyone he interacts with, but everyone he interacts with is a cartoon villain.

But Geraghty's universalizing conclusion is pretty accurate. This isn't to say that Reid and Boxer should not have their self-servingly faulty memories corrected in the public record. They should even catch a little bit of flack for it. But the fact that their memories are conveniently skewed toward their interests should not be regarded as unusual, and certainly shouldn't be regarded as conclusive proof that they are lying - my best guess, in fact, is that both mistakes are sincere. Errare humanum est.

::: posted by Steven at 11:14 PM

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Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

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