On Wednesday, Speaker of the House, Congressman Dennis Hastert (R-IL), said of New Orleans that, "It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed." Reinforcing that comment, when asked about spending billions of dollars to rebuild a city that sits below sea level, he replied, "That doesn't make sense to me."
Apparently, Hastert wanted to leave no doubt about his position on the issue. His statements are unambiguous, right? Wrong! Just a day later, Hastert issued a statement saying, "I am not advocating that the city be abandoned or relocated." He added that his earlier comments were "not to suggest that this great and historic city should not be rebuilt."
This begs the question: how does Hastert manage to stand upright without a backbone? His statements on one day clearly directly contradict his statements on the next. Hastert immediately buckled under political pressure. This is a perfect example of the classic political "flip-flop."
This weakness is shameful considering Hastert's original statements showed the marks of fiscal responsibility that his party used to stand for, but is conspicuously absent in the GOP the past five years. America is saddened by the tragedy in New Orleans, but why should it be compounded by spending countless billions of dollars to rebuild it in a location where it would be virtually guaranteed to suffer the same consequences all over again some time in the future?