"I was wrong." Those three words are not easy for most of us to say; for some people it's just about impossible.
But Jonathan Capehart, a very liberal Washington Post columnist, is an exception to that rule.
Capehart, who initially presumed Michael Brown was trying to surrender in Ferguson, now admits that the entire "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" mantra was based on an utter lie. His about face is perhaps even more difficult because Capehart is black and thus considered by some a "traitor" to his race.
Jonathan Capehart did something unusual for an ideologue of any stripe. He looked at the evidence in the Michael Brown case, specifically the voluminous report put together by Eric Holder's Justice Department.
Like his boss President Obama, Holder had rushed to judgment on the case and was seduced by the 'hands up' fabrication. So DOJ investigators had every impetus to declare Officer Darren Wilson the guilty party; instead, they exonerated Wilson and concluded that "Big Mike" was the aggressor.
There have been no Capehart-like apologies from the members of Congress who stood on the Capitol steps with their hands up. Or from the St. Louis Rams football players who used the same gesture prior to a game. And, of course, the MSNBC crew that convicted Darren Wilson has been pretty much silent. When that network's token Republican, Joe Scarborough, brought up the DOJ report, his colleague Lawrence O'Donnell essentially covered his ears and hid under the desk.
All this brings us to President Obama and his congenital inability to say, "I was wrong." The president recently granted an interview to an outlet called Vice News, which describes itself as a "news organization created by and for a connected generation." You've no doubt noticed that Mr. Obama studiously avoids tough questions by talking with admirers, most notoriously the self-proclaimed "Queen of YouTube" GloZell Green. She's the woman known for dunking herself in a bathtub filled with cereal.
During his softball interrogation by a perpetually nodding Vice News "reporter," President Obama implied that the rise of ISIS is all the fault of … George W. Bush. In Mr. Obama's view, this savage group reared its ugly head, and started lopping off the heads of others, because President Bush ousted Saddam Hussein a dozen years ago.
President Obama, of course, overlooks the fact that he withdrew all U.S. forces from Iraq, in the process ignoring the advice of all his military and national security advisers. And the fact that he dismissed ISIS as the "jayvee team" just as the terrorist group was gaining strength and attracting wannabe jihadis from around the world.
Some things should be evident to all clear-thinking Americans: General David Petraeus led a surge that left Iraq in a relatively stable situation. President Obama, perhaps wanting to prove his Nobel Peace Prize was merited, mucked up the situation by insisting on a compete withdrawal. Muslim jihadists soon moved into Iraq from Syria and began their campaign of terror, slaughter, and mayhem. And President Obama blames his predecessor!
Obama's strongest critics on the right have been merciless. Laura Ingraham compares the president's blame-evasion to the actions of a 4th grader, while Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, in addition to questioning the president's manhood, reached this pithy conclusion: "If President Obama developed athlete's foot, he would blame George W. Bush."
But even non-ideological Americans, those who want to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt, wish he would display just a bit more honesty, a bit less petulance. The president might learn from one of his staunchest admirers, the aforementioned Jonathan Capehart, who swallowed his pride and spit out those three little words. Give it a try, Mr. President. You may be glad you did. Confession, they say, is good for the soul.