Two Cheers for Two Republicans (One Apiece)

09/12/2007 11:53 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Spymaster McConnell admitted he misled Congress? And General Petraeus admitted he doesn't know if the surge has made us safer? What's wrong with these guys? Didn't they read the manual? Do they go over the talking points, or not? God Almighty. They need to be brought in for some self-criticism and some vigorous retraining, fast.

Or could it be that both of them have some small particle of decency? Some vestigial honesty, the kind we expected from Colin Powell, say, when he lied at the UN? He taught us not to count on decency and honesty even from "good" Republicans.

I know that all the stories about this Republican administration are terrible, but these little McConnell/Petraeus glitches in the seamless Big Lie are not entirely terrible, are they? "Admitted." When have you seen that verb attached to any lie, great or small, that any Republican leader has told us? They don't admit things even when they're caught flat-footed: they just claim they didn't say what they said, and then, later on, in front of the right audience, they tell the original lie all over again. (I'd like to suggest a name for this process: "to cheney," as in "the senator cheneyed again" or "I changed the channel because all they were doing was cheneying." )

Thank you, Director McConnell, for "withdrawing your assertion" when you were caught. And thank you, General Petraeus, for saying the most important thing that everyone knows but no Republican would ever say. Come on, can't we muster two cheers for these guys because they didn't stoop to cheneying? In fact, I'm going farther, in a spirit of bipartisanship that is very rare for me: two cheers for all Republicans who are, however reluctantly or belatedly, even partially honest.