05/24/2007 11:44 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Mistakes, I've Made A Few

But then again, too few to mention. -- Paul Anka, writer of Frank Sinatra's My Way.

Ah, yes:

"I may have gone too far in asking political questions of applicants for career positions and I may have taken inappropriate political considerations into account," Ms. Goodling said. "And I regret those mistakes."

Oh, Monica.

Mistakes. Were. Made. You're not old enough to have the same visceral reaction I do to anything that even smacks of that classic Nixon statement. You're not quite sure you did anything wrong. Hell, you're not quite sure what you did, since you're not saying. But you're sorry, anyway. That is, if it'll make the whole mess go away.

I've been in love with guys like you. You know what? As forgiving a nature as I have, even I finally get to the point where the half-assed apology just won't cut it. For the big stuff, it's not enough.

Monica, this is one of those times.

And I regret those mistakes. "I'm not saying I actually made any, mind you. I'm just saying that you seem to be upset and I'd prefer a compromise where I don't admit I did anything wrong (it just "happened") but you react as if I've done the right thing and we pretend nothing ever happened. A win/win, as it were."

The hardest thing in the world is admitting your mistakes. It's also the most freeing. It has probably been explained to you that you no longer have that option, at least if you want to avoid a criminal conviction. Instead, it sounds as though you're going for what those of us in the political PR game would call "the limited hangout," probably on the advice of your attorneys.

And make no mistake about it, young ideologue; you do have your proverbial tit caught in the proverbial wringer.

At least the Justice Department is probably paying for the coaching from your public relations flack. But defense attorneys who are versed in the ways of Congressional hearings and the fine parsing of perjury aren't cheap. I wonder if the Gonzales gang is going to throw a pizza party for your legal fund?

Monica, this is something it took me a long time to understand: There are so very few things worth lying to hang onto. You may think your career, your life as you know it is over now if you can't weasel your way out of this one, but those things are already gone. And truth has a way of making things right in the end.

You might want to talk to John Dean, who rather famously did the right thing in a similar situation. He probably felt like his life was over, too. It cost him, but it ultimately saved his soul and earned him new respect. If anything, he's more credible now than ever.

Which only goes to show you. Free yourself, Monica. Tell the truth and shame the devil.