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A Rule

I have no power to enforce it, but I think a new rule is necessary in the world of American politics:

The phrases, “mistakes were made” and “I take responsibility”, should only be used in letters of resignation or suicide notes.


1 Jim { 03.15.07 at 9:33 am }


In modern political discourse, the phrase “I take responsibility” is semantically equivalent to the null character.

The phrase “mistakes were made” is semantically equivalent to “But it’s not my fault!” (/whine)

2 ellroon { 03.15.07 at 11:34 am }

Omg! I laughed. Thanks, linking to this!

3 Ron Davison { 03.15.07 at 1:48 pm }

Or perhaps you should be forced to resign or commit suicide if you do use the terms.

4 Bryan { 03.15.07 at 3:35 pm }

It’s like if you admit you’re guilty of a crime, you don’t get convicted. It’s absurd – how can there be “responsibility” if there is no “accountability.”

5 Moi ;) { 03.15.07 at 8:41 pm }

You’re assuming they know how to open a dictionary to find out how to use the words….if they can remember how to spell them…. ;D

6 Bryan { 03.15.07 at 9:19 pm }

“Mistakes were made” and “I accept responsibility” were popularized by Richard Milhous Nixon during a spot of bother he had. I really think they need some new writers instead of re-reading old scripts.

OT: Your comments hate me. They keep dumping me over the codeword.

7 oldwhitelady { 03.15.07 at 11:20 pm }

I guess that would be one way of them taking responsibility at all…

8 Bryan { 03.15.07 at 11:51 pm }

To paraphrase Dan Akroyd portray Tricky Dick on Saturday Night Live during Watergate: “I accept the responsibility, but the blame. People who accept the blame lose their jobs.”