The other day I accused Heather Lind of making an overly big deal about elderly George H.W. Bush grabbing her rear end. I said he’s a nonagenarian who might not be in full control of his faculties, and that it was unkind to hold him up to opprobrium. Now several women have said publicly that the former president did that to them too. I have heard privately from a Washington friend (who is in a position to know) that credible stories about the elder Bush grabbing women have been around for a while now, and that he has been doing this kind of thing for many years.

In light of that, I wish to retract my criticism of Heather Lind, and to apologize to her. It makes me sad to hear these stories about Bush père, but if true — and it’s hard to deny them now — there is no excuse for it. You can say that the times were different, but there was never a time when a gentleman behaved that way toward women. It is shameful.