Written by Bob Siegel and originally published by Washington Times Communities, 5-26-11. Used by permission.
SAN DIEGO, May 26, 2011 —The mouth is a wonderful gift: Communication throughout history would have been so difficult without it. After all, the ability to text was not available in ancient times. Still, one cannot help but dream of a world where politicians use their mouths just a little bit less.
This is especially true when it comes to former DNC Chair and governor of Vermont, Howard Dean. Quite frankly, the problem with Howard’s ability to speak is that he actually says things. He certainly had a mouth-full for MSNBC:
“Let’s look at what these guys are doing. The far right is what I call the hate wing of the Republican Party. They’re over-represented in primaries, and of course when elections come along, they generally don’t win. But they can cause enormous trouble in the primaries…They hate Muslims, they hate gays, they hate immigrants, and the rhetoric in the primaries shows that. It’s a very unattractive painting for what was the under-35 voters that elected Barack Obama” (The Last Word, MSNBC May 23, 2011).
Now there’s an example of cool, rational, brilliant analyses. Since Democrats love to lecture conservatives about “toning down inflammatory rhetoric,” it will be interesting to see if Dean is granted a similar rebuke.
Don’t bet the farm on it. Instead, let us simply observe that if Dean isn’t guilty of inflammatory speech, the word inflammatory should be taken out of the dictionary.
Mr. Dean, where are your examples of Republicans hating Muslims, gays, and immigrants, other than those who have expressed concern for their own safety and values? Are we to understand that anyone who dares to call Islam a violent religion hates Muslims? It isn’t possible that we’re merely on guard against violence emanating from militant Islam?
Do any who disagree with a same-sex lifestyle hate homosexuals, or are they merely expressing a constitutionally protected religious freedom to speak against what they sincerely believe to be a sin, all the while loving gays as people? Is it hate coming from homosexuals who turned from their lifestyle and now urge others to do the same? Are you tolerant of views about same-sex attraction different from your own, Mr. Dean? Does your intolerance make you hateful?
Does anyone who believes in protecting our borders automatically hate immigrants? Do you contend that they oppose not just illegal immigration, but rather all immigration? Does your hate label apply to the many legal Hispanic immigrants who speak out against illegal immigration?
True, Dean distinguishes between mainstream Republicans and “far right” Republicans, but in his view “mainstream” Republicans almost seem indistinguishable from Democrats. Actually, most Republicans, “far right” or otherwise, express their positions like those elaborated on above.
Howard Dean continues to get booked on one news program after another. It staggers the imagination that so many in our country can listen to such drivel and take it seriously.
The Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz also had a mouth. What he preferred, of course, was a brain. When Dorothy asked how he could talk if he didn’t have a brain, the Scarecrow replied, “I don’t know. But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking.”
Bob Siegel is a weekend radio talk show host on KCBQ and columnist. Details of his show can be found at www.bobsiegel.net. Comments to posts are discussed by Bob over the air where anyone is free to call in and respond/debate.