"You can bet your Commie card it was," Grump said. "He's already
rebounding in the polls. The Gipper is on the move again."
I didn't think he could pull it off.
"Nothing to it. He just admitted that he made a mistake. Anyone with a sense of fairness can understand that we can all make a mistake."
No, he admitted to having made at least four mistakes.
"I don't recall that."
Yes. He very honestly conceded that his aides had done wrong because he had been too trusting.
"You must admit that it takes a big man to admit that he had been too trusting."
Of course. And he admitted that while thinking about the welfare of the hostages and their families, he may have been too compassionate.
"True. And it takes a big man to admit that he had been guilty of being overly compassionate."
Let's see, he also conceded that he had been too statesmanlike in wanting to build diplomatic bridges to the more moderate elements in the Iran power structure.
"What a wrenching thing it must be for a proud man to stand before the nation and confess to having been too statesmanlike. But it is yet another measure of his statesmanship that he would admit to having been too statesmanlike. But what was his fourth mistake?"
I'm surprised you overlooked it. He admitted, in effect, that during his many years in government, his managerial style had been almost too perfect.
"Of course! How could I have overlooked that. His style has always worked to near perfection in the past."
Yes, and because it had been so amazingly successful, he was lulled into a false sense of security. This then led him into the mistake of being too trusting.
"What an amazing man. How forthright. How courageous he was to go before the American people, nay, before the entire TV-watching world, and make a clean breast of his mistakes. When was the last time a president did something like that?"
That's exactly what I have been asking historians. I have asked them if any American president has gone before the people and admitted that he had been too trusting, too compassionate, too statesmanlike, and that his managerial style had been too perfect.
"And what did the historians say?"
They said it was a first, that no president ever 'fessed up to so many character flaws before, although Jimmy Carter once said that he had lust in his heart. But that was while he was a candidate, so it doesn't count.
"I should hope not, the little twit. So you were obviously as moved as I was by the speech. As he spoke I wept."
So did I. But as you know, I'm allergic to my cats, so that could have been a contributing factor.
"Nevertheless, I'm pleased that even someone such as you - a vicious media shark who circles in the bloody water of a wounded presidency - could be moved by so sincere and honest a revelation."
Oh, I was, especially when he said: "You know, by the time you reach my age, you've made plenty of mistakes if you've lived your life properly." That really touched a responsive chord because it made me think of my late father.
"Your father? In what regard?"
Well, when he was in his 70s, he, too, sold weapons to Iran.
"Your father did?"
Sure. Like the president said, when you get on in years, that's the kind of mistake a codger can make. It's very common. My Uncle Stanley, on his 80th birthday, flew over to give the ayatollah a box of Twinkies, a Boy Scout manual and offered to sell him three boatloads of M-80 firecrackers.
"Your Uncle Stanley?"
Yes. As a matter of fact, I'm no kid myself and lately I'm getting these strange urges.
A planeload or two of shotgun shells for the ayatollah. I guess it comes with the aging process.
"I am starting to doubt the sincerity of your feelings."
See? That's exactly the problem with this society.
"What's the problem?"
Too many cynics like you.