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It's a mea culpa week - Mike Reagan

Like altar boys, who used to strike their breasts and mutter "mea culpa" ("through my fault") during the beginning of the Latin mass while confessing that they had sinned, Democrats are in full confessional mode, apologizing for every real or imagined sin against a particular group they believe their country once offended.

In the latest example of sheer looniness that has marked the current Congress, which is controlled by Democrats, surely the worst, if not the craziest Congress in all U.S. history, the House officially sought forgiveness from Native Americans and the victims of Jim Crow-ism.

They did that in our name, laying upon our shoulders the alleged sins of long-dead Americans and having us cringe at the feet of today's casino-rich Native Americans, and our black brothers and sisters whose votes they lust after.

Just a minute here. Neither I nor any of my immediate ancestors ever lifted a finger against a single American Indian or black American. I have no apologies to make to people I have not offended. If offenses were committed, they weren't my fault, or for that matter yours or that of any living Americans.

How dare these congressional demagogues associate us with alleged sins of the distant past committed by people who have long been gone from this world.

Then there are the people who think that we should pay reparations to the descendants of slaves, or bow and scrape before the offspring of long-dead Native Americans for having maltreated their ancestors, who themselves were not lax in maltreating paleface settlers who they tended to scalp when the opportunity arose.

They say we owe black folks for slavery and Jim Crow laws, forgetting that the debt was fully paid by the 360,000 Union soldiers who died in the Civil War to free the ancestors of today's black Americas. The debt was marked "paid in full," written in their blood.

I'm sure that one of my ancestors offended somebody or other at one time. Am I expected to reimburse their present-day offspring if any happen to show up for a handout?

And, by the way, if we are going to pay reparations to the descendants of any group who was grievously mistreated, sign me up. I'm Irish, and no group of immigrants was more badly treated.

Poor, hungry and impoverished, they arrived on these shores where they were welcomed by help-wanted signs proclaiming, "No Irish need apply." The New York Times of the day was full of ads reading "Wanted, coachmen. Must be sober, industrious and reliable. No Irish need apply."

Not that there were many Irishmen available to be coachmen because vast numbers of them, many brand new arrivals here, were elsewhere, fighting and dying at places like Gettysburg and Antietam ,so that the native born dandies in New York who wouldn't fight for their country would be safe at home and able to hire coachmen or mistreat their Irish chambermaids.

It took years for the wave of Irish emigrants fleeing from harsh British rule and a famine that killed an estimated million and-a-half of them before it was over to lift themselves out of grinding poverty. And they did it on their own, without any help.

Where are my reparations?

As for making reparations to Native Americans, millions of our fellow citizens are doing that already, filling the swollen coffers of the host of gambling casinos thriving on Indian reservations. Long-gone Americans drove them off their ancestral lands. Today's Americans are paying for it at their roulette tables or playing slot machines.

If there is any apologizing to be done, the Democrats in Congress should be doing it, atoning for $4-a-gallon gas that's the direct result of their refusal to allow us to tap the billions if not trillions of gallons of oil lying untapped here, in Alaska and in the Gulf, because they won't let us go after them and free ourselves from dependence on foreign oil.

If they want to chant "mea culpa," let the guilt-ridden Democrats pay us reparations out of their campaign war-chest for getting us into this mess.

Mike Reagan, the elder son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is heard on more than 200 talk radio stations nationally. E-mail comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com.