Sunday, April 01, 2007

Should we forgive Matthew Dowd?

Cliff Schecter had a nearly identical reaction to mine last night to this story. For myself, having slept on it, I'm inclined to take a slightly less hard line approach. Meanwhile, The Carpetbagger Report has an interesting thread going on this morning about it and I left this comment.
I posted on this last night and my reaction was, spare me the crocodile tears. The guy is a bus jumper and just wants to ride home with the winning team. I was pretty harsh, but empathetic soul that I am, I woke up this morning thinking maybe I was a little hard on Dowd in judging his motives and it was a little arrogant for me to do so. Maybe he really is genuinely sorry.

Time was I would have been more sympathetic and immediately given him the benefit of the doubt. But six years of deceit and malfeasance have made me cynical and bitter. I think that’s what makes me angriest of all. They’ve destroyed my trust in my fellow man and nearly destroyed my good nature.

That being said, I’m not inclined to just kick him out of the house. I’ll give him a chance to redeem himself but a simple apology isn’t enough. It’s a classic batterer’s ploy. Beat the crap out of the wife and then apologize profusely and promise never to do it again. Maybe he even keeps that promise for a while, but unless he takes proactive steps to change the behavior and repair the damage, the battering eventually returns and escalates.

I’m with the camp that says if he’s really sorry, then he should offer evidence he surely possesses of the malicious and probably illegal activities he participated in and help convict those who perpetrated them. Then I’ll believe his apology is sincere. Until then, if he wants absolution, he should go to his priest.
So that's where I stand. If Dowd wants to help depose the king, then welcome aboard but it will take more than a simple "I'm sorry" to redeem himself with me.

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