the president apologized

Today in the New York Times I read something president Obama said. He apologized for making a mistake. He said he screwed up. His critics were doing their best to give him grief. What nobody said was that the practice of big government is so untidy that mistakes are not only possible but inevitable.

What is different about Obama from previous presidents is that instead of betraying weakness by admitting fault, he shows enough strength of character not to fear the attacks of those who would seek his downfall. Admitting error in a system that can’t be freed from them is the position of a realist, not a weak person.

Here is the opportunity to draw more than lines in the sand. We have endured administrations that are inaccessible, furtive, and dodgy while the society around them crumbles. Here is a president who, though faced with seemingly insurmountable problems, is willing to make the White House accountable and make his decisions and discussions public.

What I like about Obama is not his party, which is an accident of history, but his reasonableness. He is the most powerful man in the world, (with some caveats,) but he does not wish to gamble with the people, to put them at risk, to hide his moves, to play Janus.

Democrat, or Republican, or Libertarian or whatever, here’s someone that could dismantle generations of mistrust in federalism.

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