It is better to dither than to blither. The world and particularly U.S. politics would be better off if much of the blither had not been expressed. There is nothing wrong with thinking long and hard about a decision to be made. There is much wrong with not thinking at all or thinking defectively and just letting fly.
The progressive pundits are all over Dick Cheney for accusing President Obama of dithering. Well, blither is what blithering idiots do, just as bull frogs croak and coyotes howl. Eight years ago when Cheney and his pack started blithering about weapons of mass destruction and Al Qaeda conspiracies in Iraq, many people recognized it was all a blither and a blather. Evidence, or should we say the lack of it, was mounting that there probably were no weapons of mass destruction secreted away in Iraq and that Saddam Hussein was not playing footsie with Osama bin Laden. But the people who doubted the evidence cited by Bush and Cheney were so afraid of being called unpatriotic and soft on terrorism that they muted their concerns with feeble murmurs and feckless protests. When Tom Daschle said he was disappointed in the rush into war on Iraq, remember the blizzard of outraged blither he inspired from the blathering brotherhood of railroading warmongers?
Some courageous dithering might have saved some shreds of decency to cling to. It might have prevented the loss of 4675 lives in Iraq that we now blithely dismiss and bury under avalanches of blither, such as dismissing our collective responsibility for these needless and wasteful deaths by praising their dutifulness and valor. That praise does not relieve us of being responsible for sending those vital young people to needless deaths.
Some people tried to dither when the matters of torture and prisons came up, but the blither won out. And there is much dithering over Cheney's role in exposing Valerie Plame. Obama is well advised to dither a bit more about sending more troops to Afghanistan but stop the dithering over holding the right people responsible for America's descent into blithering hell.
And we dither over tea-party dementia and town hall hate fests and the right to protest the costs of health care while we let the blithering idiots ignore the fact that we have spent $967 billion on our current wars--$697 billion on Iraq and $230 billion on Afghanistan. (Some estimates on the cost of the wars run as high as $3 trillion.)We let the padded cell candidates scream and whine that some people who they prefer to let die might get health care and keeping them alive and healthy is a luxury we can't afford. Congress seems to think it is time to stop the dither and end that blither.
Cheney is by no means the only person who thinks Obama is dithering. Many of the people who elected him wish he would stop being so considerate of the people who did not elect him. There comes a time when dither becomes blither and being too considerate has the aspect of screwing the pooch on the White House lawn. As Bill Maher put it:
If Obama had really charged in there riding the forceful energy of the historic election, there really could have been an historic "first hundred days". Instead of what happened, which is the Obamas got a dog.The blithering idjits, aka GOP, have a strategy. If only they could deny those who do not have or cannot afford health care long enough, attrition will set in and many of those who support Obama will die off and give the blithering party a chance to gain power again.
There is a time to look at the problems we face in serious and thoughtful ways, but when all that is produced as alternatives is blithering idiocy rather than substantive suggestions, it is time to dither no longer and do something constructive and decent for the country. Quickly, please. We want no more useless deaths and not another $1 trillion spent on unjustified and mindless war. Make the dithering count. *