Here’s a guy who was thrust, quite unexpectedly and in a very painful way, into the national limelight. Throughout, he’s comported himself with completely dignity, something that continues to be clear in this post-beer statement and Q&A session:
Crowley’s dignity and graciousness is especially appealing because, after the way the President of the United States insulted him before the world, he stated unequivocally that no one at the kegger apologized. Gates might be able to hold onto his high dudgeon because he was arrested, but Obama, who thrust himself into a matter as to which he admittedly knew nothing, has no excuse for failing to voice a simple apology. Just as Crowley comes across as a gentleman, Obama comes across as an arrogant boor — and that’s true no matter how charming a host he might have been.
Apologies are a big issue in my family. If you believe you’re in the right, you owe it to yourself to defend yourself. If you know you’re in the wrong, you owe it to the wronged party to deliver a heartfelt apology. By failing to apologize, Obama was either mentally clinging to his “stupid policeman” scenario, which is bad, or he was showing himself to be a selfish and unkind person, completely lacking in decency and empathy, which is equally bad. He also proved, as we know, that he is a very small man. Big men can apologize. The only teachable moment here is that Obama is not a nice human being.
UPDATE: Just for fun, contrast Crowley’s low key dignity with Gates’ pompous, professorial bombast. The latter isn’t mean, just stultifying and somewhat condescending — two traits encouraged in ivy-wrapped academia.