LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Politics no place for word play

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When I listen to our two highest-ranking Democrats, President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, I hear Shakespeare, but not in a good way. Their speechwriters are clearly gifted in the ability to draft speeches as aptly as Shakespeare wrote plays, with the need to be interpreted and ability to promote confusion.

We couldn’t blame a lack of understanding on Mr. Obama after the Rose Garden speech in which he discussed Benghazi and then decried terrorism. For the same reason, we can’t use Mr. Reid’s speech on the Marines tragedy to “substantiate” his position linking sequestration to future similar tragedies (“Tom Coburn: Harry Reid is wrong to link sequester with Marine deaths,” Web, Wednesday). In each case our Democratic leaders read crafted statements that had two plausible interpretations.

Similarly, in “Romeo and Juliet” the following is Juliet’s response to her mother regarding marrying a rich man: “It is an honor that I dreamed not of.” It is an answer that allows Juliet to please her mother, but does not convey her true meaning. In each of the above speeches our Democratic leaders began by addressing one topic and then moved to another. By conveniently ending one topic with a sentence that could be applied to either topic, it implies they are tied together. However, it also allows the politician to test the public opinion and then align with whichever interpretation is most amenable to the general public.

Quite clever, those speechwriters. I applaud, as would an avid fan, the desire of our country’s Democratic leadership to perpetuate the craft of word play. I wish they would confine it to the theatre, though — because when used for politics and policy it is manipulative, and that’s not entertaining at all.

KEREN HAUGH

Ashburn, Va.

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