American divisiveness is a special breed of cat. American-style democracy is an anomaly in the world and so is the American way of trying to bridge divisions to balance the needs of the many and the few.
Sometimes this is a knee-jerk, willful, or greatly misguided bunk — as in former House Speaker Tom DeLay’s contention that, “We stopped realizing that God created this nation, that he wrote the Constitution, that it’s based on biblical principles.” Sometimes it is a matter of forcing opinions on your opposition — like Richard Dawkins’ claim that, “What a child should never be taught is that you are a Catholic or Muslim child, therefore that is what you believe. That’s child abuse.”
Professional bloviators inevitably say something stupid. It is the nature of saying so many things so much of the time. Not all of these statements are as mean-spirited or crazy as they sound. Sometimes it is merely a slip of the tongue or a case of not engaging brain before mouth. But in today’s poisoned political well, it happens and apologies don’t make much difference. Each side seizes the opportunity to make the speaker look as bad as possible for as long as possible, often overlooking the nature and severity of the statement.