Why did Durbin apologize? He had compared the practice of chaining Guantanamo prisoners to their cell walls in extreme temperatures and depriving them of food and water, to the practices of Nazi and Soviet jailers. Not one of his critics claimed that such practices had not occurred at Guantanamo, or that Nazis and Soviets did not employ such practices.
What Durbin was really crying about was his political error of using the words "Americans" and "Nazis" in the same sentence. For this was precisely what gave his opponents in the Senate and the media the opportunity to lambast him while, incidentally, any discussion about the real issue - maltreatment of prisoners - became moot. When the media, with the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News leading the rabid pack, started howling, Durbin must have seen his political future sinking like a stone. Clutching at straws and jettisoning priciples, he saw a sniveling apology as his salvation.
Well, we have news for you, Senator. Rush Limbaugh, for one, is not at all happy with your apology. Limbaugh devotes over 5,500 words on his website, transcribed from one of his broadcasts, to "analyzing" the apology. His main problem is semantic: "Basically, folks," Limbaugh hectors, "he's apologizing 'if' you were offended. He's not apologizing for what he said ... He doesn't retract the remarks and he doesn't say, 'I was wrong.'"
Quite so, Rush. How clever of you to spot that.