"Mistakes were made" has its own wikipedia page. Includes a list of uses going back to Ulysses S. Grant. http://t.co/qviHEG3eqs
— Andrew Grossman (@A_Grossman) January 14, 2014
ETA: This is gonna leave a mark…
George Packer, in the New Yorker:
… [W]hy do I keep having flashbacks to 1972? Some of the parallels are weirdly exact. Whether or not he ordered the Watergate bugging, Richard Nixon ran a campaign of dirty tricks for two reasons: he wanted to run up the score going into his second term, and he was a supremely mean-spirited man. Nixon’s reëlection campaign reached out to as many Democrats as possible (not just elected officials but rank-and-file blue-collar workers and Catholics). Nixon ran not as the Republican Party’s leader but, in the words of his bumper sticker, as just “President Nixon.” His landslide win over George McGovern translated into no Republican advantage in congressional races—the Democrats more than held their own. The Washington Post’s David Broder later called it “an extraordinarily selfish victory.”
Christie’s 2013 reëlection tracks closely with this story: an all-out effort to court Democrats in order to maximize his personal power, and a landslide victory in November, with all the benefit going to the Governor, not to his fellow-Republicans in the state legislature. On Christmas, the Times published a piece about Christie’s long record of bullying and retribution. In it, the Fort Lee traffic jam was mentioned as just one of many cases (and, I have to admit, not the one that stayed with me) of vengefulness so petty that it inescapably called to mind the American President who incarnated that quality, and was brought down by it….
It took months and months for “Watergate” to explode from a ‘two-bit burglary’ to ‘what did the President know, and when did he know it?’ but of course communications technology was much more primitive back in that dead century…