Joe Biden Becomes President Because Mistakes Were Made
Ron DeSantis falls into the 2020 trap.
No livestream because The Bulwark will be live from New York tonight. We’ll release the show in podcast form later, though. It’s going to be great. See you in the city, fam.
1. Mistakes Were Made
Back in the day, Richard Nixon popularized a phrase he used to explain various unpleasant revelations about his conduct: “Mistakes were made.”
In the ensuing years, the phrase was employed by many other politicians. Whenever someone in Washington needed to confess to some wrongdoing without volunteering accountability, it’s what they would say.
“Mistakes were made.”
The old political hand Bill Schneider once referred to it as the “past exonerative” tense.
That bad thing? It was a mistake.
How did it happen? It simply sprang into being!
When did occur? We all looked around one day and there it was! Now let’s move along.
I thought about the “mistakes were made” formulation listening to Ron DeSantis talk about the “culture of losing” in the Republican party earlier this week when he was asked by a reporter if he would admit that Donald Trump lost the 2020 election. Here’s what he said: