Carol Platt Liebau: Apologies to Senator Frist

Monday, June 20, 2005

Apologies to Senator Frist

Over the weekend, I wrote and said that Senator Bill Frist's reaction to Dick Durbin's remarks (that he was "disappointed" in them) was inadequate. I based this opinion on a radio news report by Fox News. In fact, as noted by Brit Hume, papers like The New York Times failed completely to report on Republican senators' reactions.

Today, on the plane, I had an extensive opportunity to watch Fox News, and saw a clip from Saturday of Senator Frist, denouncing Durbin's remarks as "heinous," and using much stronger language than that quoted by the radio report. In fairness, it seems as though he has spoken out, at least to some extent.

Senator McConnell (R-KY) and Senator Kyl (R-AZ) have been, in my view, the most outspoken (and properly so!) senators. Kudos to them for standing defending the honor of our troops.

I stand by my criticism of John McCain. He has not denounced the remarks with the passion that he seems to reserve for critiques of administration policies. However, he's quoted below as predicting that "by the time this program is shown next Sunday, that Mr Durbin will have apologized." I assumed that he had talked to Tim Russert before yesterday morning, and that he was therefore predicting that Durbin would have apologized by yesterday morning. However, Hugh Hewitt and others seem to have understood Senator McCain to have been referring -- not to yesterday -- but to next Sunday. If indeed their interpretation is correct (as is quite possible), then Durbin has a week.

We shall see.


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