“I Said It. I Meant It. I Stand Behind It.”

10 comments February 14th, 2006at 01:49pm Posted by Eli

I forgot to include this in my previous post about the Democratic party establishment screwing over Paul Hackett, but I think it deserves its own post anyway:

Various bloggers (I could have sworn Digby was one of them, but I can’t find the post I was thinking of) have lamented the Democrats’ unfortunate and self-destructive practice of sabotaging their best and most forceful messengers, but that doesn’t go quite far enough. The core problem with the Democrats, individually and collectively, is their reluctance to say, “I said it. I meant it. I stand behind it.” By apologizing, “clarifying,” or backpedaling away from their statements every time the Republicans and their creatures raise a fake uproar, the Democrats marginalize themselves and their message.

By apologizing, they are saying, “Yes, you’re right, that was not a valid point I was making.” By backpedaling, they are saying, “I routinely say things that I don’t really mean, and I just hope that no-one calls me on it.”

On the other hand, by standing firm and repeating “I said it. I meant it. I stand behind it,” or better yet, “We said it. We meant it. We stand behind it,” every time they are challenged, the Democrats would send the message that their positions are valid and deserving of respect, that they never say anything they don’t mean, and that they will not back down in the face of intimidation.

Of course, the Republican noise machine would howl about how angry and unreasonable the Democrats are. Let them. I believe the Democrats would regain the respect of their base, and the admiration of those undecideds who are disgusted with the Republicans but don’t see a viable alternative.

If Hackett is through with seeking public office, maybe the Democrats could hire him as a speech coach.

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Politics,Wankers


  • 1. Zap Rowsdower  |  February 14th, 2006 at 6:08 pm

    If Hackett is through with seeking public office, maybe the
    Democrats could hire him as a speech coach.

    You’re lack of faith disturbs me.

    Well said, my friend…

  • 2. P. Drāno  |  February 14th, 2006 at 7:08 pm

    Another reason for “never apologise, never explain” is that paradoxically it allows for more freedom not less.
    Backpedalling is just a good way to remain off-balance all the time.

  • 3. tah2002  |  February 14th, 2006 at 10:51 pm

    Admitting a mistake based on new revelations is the best choice. Kerry was called a flip-flopper, but I’d much rather have someone who changes their opinion based on the facts they’re presented (open-mindedness) than a someone in office he remains stubborn and stuck to their orignal comments no matter what (our president).

  • 4. Eli  |  February 14th, 2006 at 11:24 pm

    I actually thought about adding a similar clarification, that admitting factual mistakes is perfectly fine. Not exactly the same as what you’re advocating, but I agree with that as well.

    The kind of apologizing and backpedaling I’m talking about is that prompted by nothing more substantial than Republican outrage, which is more plentiful than hydrogen atoms.

  • 5. four legs good  |  February 17th, 2006 at 12:04 am

    BTW, I said it.

    Dems should say what they mean, be clear, direct and NOT FUCKING APOLOGIZE for it.

    Do the right thing, and do it because it’s right. People will follow.

  • 6. Multi Medium » It&#&hellip  |  January 25th, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    […] As I say in the probably-unfortunately-named Multi Medium Manifesto (which I plan to update after I finish cleaning up the new blog): Voters respect conviction, passion, and heart. Candidates like Hackett with firm convictions, who tell it like it is without pulling punches, who say things like I said it, I meant it, I stand behind it will gain the voters respect, even from voters who dont agree with all their positions. […]

  • 7. Multi Medium » Danc&hellip  |  February 17th, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    […] 4) Fuck civility. No, you probably shouldn’t actually swear, but neither should you worry about being likable or nice. Attack. Hit hard. Be outraged. Don’t apologize unless you’ve made a factual error. Don’t worry about alienating voters; if anything, their respect for you will grow if you aggressively defend yourself. Be more like Paul Hackett or Jim Webb. Look at yourself in the mirror each morning and say, “I said it, I meant it, I stand behind it” five times. […]

  • 8. Multi Medium » Thre&hellip  |  October 24th, 2007 at 7:56 pm

    […] written a few posts about how Democrats need to start standing up for themselves, and stop validating dishonest criticism. I’m very fond of Paul Hackett’s “I […]

  • 9. “I Said It. I Meant&hellip  |  February 16th, 2008 at 1:58 am

    […] was Paul Hackett’s response to a fake-outrage attack against him two years ago. He’d dared to criticize George W. Bush, […]

  • 10. Multi Medium » R&hellip  |  September 30th, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    […] have been waiting two and a half years for a Democratic politician to adopt the Paul Hackett mantra, but it’s finally happened. Alan […]

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