Aaron Lazare writes in The Washington Post:
We’ve had the Newsweek apology and the Larry Summers apology (over and over again). Republicans would like an apology from Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean for negative things he said about their party. Opponents of the war in Iraq would like an apology from President Bush for ever starting it and almost everything having to do with it. Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate offered a somber apology for not havingpassed an anti-lynching law in the last century.
All this apologizing isn’t a new phenomenon — I’ve been tracking an increase in public apologies for more than a decade — but the rush of demands for political mea culpas needs to be recognized for what it is: a manipulative tool used for partisan advantage that threatens to turn what should be a powerful act of reconciliation into a meaningless travesty. Instead of healing breaches, these sorry exercises widen the gulfs between people.
More here. (I recommend Dr. Lazare’s brilliant book “On Apology” as a must read).