I’ve always been one to own up to my mistakes. If I screw up somewhere, I’ll admit it at least as publicly as the initial screwup was. I also won’t try to hide my errors – I’ve always believed the only people who should bury their mistakes are doctors and mad scientists. But I’m just going to limit myself to the ones I’ve posted in the last couple days.
First, in my many pieces on John Kerry, I’ve referred to his “20-year career” in the Senate. While it is true he was first elected in 1984, he didn’t take office until January of 1985. He’s only been in the Senate 19 2/3 years. I know it’s probably safe to round up, but it’s technically incorrect, and it’s been bugging me since I realized it last night.
Second, I mentioned that President Bush had signed Standard Form 180 releasing his service records, unlike Kerry. As JoeY pointed out and I confirmed, Bush hasn’t. He did order the release of all his records on his authority as Commander in Chief, which some say is the functional equivalent of filing the form, but that is disputable and might not guarantee that all his records are now public. They’re a lot more public than Hillary Clinton’s billing records from the Rose Law Firm were after they were subpoenaed, though.
Third, and this one was a doozy, I wrote a piece busting David Anderson’s chops over his flip-flops on whether to boycott the Swift Boat Veterans story. While I have no regrets about writing and posting it (hell, the fact that I ripped him up and down and he laughed at it is something I take great pride in), I did make the incredibly stupid mistake of referring to him as “Oliver Willis” throughout most of the first piece. Spoons and Michele immediately thought I was being nice to Oliver (an unforgivable sin) and gave me considerable grief, causing me to go back and notice the error. I went in, fixed it, and added a detailed apology, but left the original comments undeleted – like I said, I don’t believe in burying my mistakes.
But it was my fourth mistake, the one no one called me on, that I regret the most. In my piece on 527 groups, I talked about John Kerry in rather derisive terms. I tossed around the terms “hissy-fit,” “tantrum,” “whining,” and “squalling.” (Although as a Navy man, Kerry would probably appreciate that last one.) As I quoted Winston Churchill earlier, “When you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite.” I should have curbed my venom and maintained my usual manner. If any Kerry supporters (or, by some ungodly set of circumstances, Senator Kerry himself) were offended by the language I used, I apologize. It was wrong. I felt it at the time, but I was on a roll and didn’t listen to my conscience.
I’d go on, but that’s all the errors I’ve found of mine on the main page. I don’t have the time or space to go digging through the archives, and also I suspect the more I write now, the better the chances I’ll make mistakes here. I have absolutely no intention of setting up an infinite loop of fixing the mistakes in the fixes to the fixes