Thursday, April 15, 2004

On Bush's "Non-Apology"

Yesterday I listened to NPR's bitching about how Bush didn't apologize for 9/11. Something struck me as very discordant in that, and after getting some actual sleep, I think I've figured out what it was. The commentators were both men. Let me explain:

Favorite Husband (the father of the World's Cutest Kids) loves me fiercely. But he is never going to write me a love sonnet in iambic pentameter, no matter how much I would like him to. If he ever does write me a love poem, it will probably start with "Roses are red, violets are blue..." If I insist that without a love sonnet, I will never know that he loves me, then I guess I never will know that he loves me, because F. H. is a man of action and of few words.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger assures us that this is the case with most men. Like F. H., they'll do the dishes for their woman when she needs to spend a day resting in bed. They'll distract the kids so that she can clean out the Augean stables children's rooms. They'll "rock your world" every night in bed. But she points out (and rightly so) that they are entitled to choose the manner in which they show you they love you, and if you insist on a specific form of showing it, you will probably never get the message.

So it disconcerts me to hear a couple of men bitching about how Bush didn't use the particular words they wanted to hear. President Bush is, like Favorite Husband, a man of action and few words. So what we should ask ourselves, if we want to know if he's properly contrite about 9/11, is: what does he say with his actions? And I think we all know the answer to that. Or at least, half of us should.