A quote, from the Democratic party's leader emeritus, Howard Dean, with regard to the Muslims that intend to build their prayer center near Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan:
"They're trying to do something that's good, but there's no point in starting off trying to do something good if its going to meet with enormous resistance from a lot of folks."
The American Revolution?
The Civil War?
The Emancipation Proclamation?
Suffrage for Women?
The Civil Rights Movement?
World War I?
World War II?
Wall Street Reform?
Of course not. Such a notion is ridiculous. There have been numerous instances in this country's history in which there was a point to "trying to do something good" even when such efforts were going to be fought at every turn by both internal and external forces.
I wouldn't have a problem with Dean speaking on this issue if the words he used were intended to convey a message about the actual subject matter at hand. But Howard Dean did not mean what he said. His goal was not to add substance to the debate. His goal, and Nancy Pelosi's goal when she spoke (read: avoided the opportunity to speak) about the issue, and President Obama's goal when he qualified his original statement on the topic, was either to avoid providing a viewpoint or to provide the position that they believe reflected the majority opinion on the subject. Though Dean does not currently hold a political office, the purpose of his comments today (though, as it turns out, probably misjudged and unwanted) was to get people from his party elected. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's goal was to avoid saying something that would prevent people from her party to get elected. And President Obama's back-pedaling was intended to repair damage caused by previously saying something that, while accurate, offended more people than was intended, all in the name of preserving majorities in November. And that is my problem with him and every other politician who burdens our ears with their feather-weighted words.
Benjamin Franklin said, "words may show a man's wit, but actions his meaning." As it turns out, the more words Republicans use to explain their actions in Congress, the less witty they appear to be. Republican spokespeople, from Sarah Palin to Mitch McConnell, have refused to respond to the question of whether or not a continuation of current tax cuts would or do pay for themselves, after Alan Greenspan confirmed that they do not. When juxtaposed to statements regarding the when convenient conservative stance on deficit spending, it becomes clear that the Republicans are stuck in a paradox of their own making. They do not oppose letting the current tax cuts expire because they truly believe it is what is best for the country. Most empirical evidence points to the contrary. Their actions reveal their meaning. The Republicans oppose letting the current tax cuts expire because they believe that is the best way to improve their chances of getting reelected and regaining control of the Congress.