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I feel bad for Christina Aguilera who made a mistake on the biggest televised event today. She skipped a line from our National anthem during the Super Bowl show. More here: Washington Post: Aguilera flubs U.S. national anthem at Super Bowl

We are human and make mistakes often. Even the best of us do. There have been several mistakes made by great leaders of our nation. Here are just some of them:

  • Watergate. Watergate is Shakespearean in many ways. In 1972, George McGovern had no chance of beating Richard Nixon. However, Nixon operatives broke into and bugged Democratic headquarters. After the election, Nixon should have fired the burglars on Christmas Eve, blamed everything on their overzealous efforts to win the election, and washed his hands at it all. Instead, the cover up led to Nixon’s downfall. In the end, Nixon’s resignation led to the rise of Jimmy Carter, began the process which led to the demise of Republican moderates, and resulted in Ronald Reagan. There is also some evidence that Nixon’s resignation led to a renewed Vietnam War and mass killings in Southeast Asia by communists who no longer feared American retribution.
  • The Lewinsky Affair. Despite White House hopes that this would blow over, the Lewinsky Affair led to the impeachment of President Clinton. However people may feel about the incident and impeachment, the firestorm paralyzed the government for a year. While Clinton focused on the scandal, Osama bin Laden was allowed to go free. The Lewinsky Affair forced Al Gore to run away from Clinton during the 2000 Election, lost the Vice President millions of votes nationwide, and cost the Democrats the White House. Additionally, had Clinton resigned or was removed from office, George W. Bush would never have been president.
  • Vietnam. Dwight Eisenhower sent perfunctory advisers to South Vietnam, but warned against doing more. Douglas MacArthur advised that Vietnam was not worth fighting over. Lyndon Johnson ignored the advice and went to war. He hoped for a quick victory to halt the communists and prove his manhood to the voters. It cost 58,000 American lives, split the nation, destroyed the old New Deal coalition, and ended Johnson’s presidency.
  • Media blackout on the virulent new strain of influenza among US troops arriving at the front line in 1917. Suppressing news of the new virus strain was supposed to keep morale high among the Allied troops; in fact it allowed the Spanish Flu to take hold and spread worldwide before any medical countermeasures were begun. (The Spanish Flu killed more people than WWI did).
  • US president Woodrow Wilson spent so much time flirting with Queen Marie of Romania at the Conference of Versailles (peace negotiations at the end of WWI) that he persuaded fellow delegates to cede huge tracts of central Europe to Romania, while also endorsing France’ plan to exact massive reparation payments from Germany. Within ten years Romania went unstable, and Germany was in hyperinflation. Together with Wilson’s refusal to include the US in the League of Nations, this made WWII almost inevitable.

And if you haven’t seen these, there are several poor versions of our national anthem:
http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1889754_1889752_1889689,00.html

Everyone is a sinner, but admiting is important. I hope Christina apologizes tomorrow. I am sure she will learn more about the history of the Star Spangled Banner (its easier to remember the lines if you do): http://www.homeofheroes.com/hallofheroes/1st_floor/flag/1bfc_anthem.html

But more than that I also hope patriots can have the heart to forgive her. I know it is tough for patriots like me, but we have to find the heart to forgive her, for have we not made blunders ourselves! And here is a prayer for our common father …

We make and keep on making our mistakes
But you, Father, keep smiling at our innocence
I know i will keep making all my mistakes
and that You will smile through all of them

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