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Editorial: If walks like a duck and quacks like one

Sentinel editorial At a rally Tuesday in front of the U.S. Capitol, newly elected U.S. Rep. Mary Miller, R-Oakland said, "Hitler was right on one thing; he said, ‘Whoever has the youth has the future.’"

Bitte, warte eine Minute! Hold up a sec lady.

Was hast du gesagt Frau Miller?

Straight out of central Illinois and right into a pan of pan of hot political Crisco, the newly sworn-in Illinois lawmaker is getting her first rude, booty-hurt lesson of American stateswomanship: Every. Freakin'. Word. Counts.

After considerable backlash, some calling for her resignation - which won't happen - and rebuke from politicians around the state, including Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, Miller issued this statement this morning:

"Earlier this week, I spoke to a group of mothers about the importance of faith and guarding our youth from destructive influences. I sincerely apologize for any harm my words caused and regret using a reference to one of the most evil dictators in history to illustrate the dangers that outside influences can have on our youth. This dark history should never be repeated and parents should be proactive to instill what is good, true, right, and noble into their children’s hearts and minds. While some are trying to intentionally twist my words to mean something antithetical to my beliefs, let me be clear: I’m passionately pro-Israel and I will always be a strong advocate and ally of the Jewish community. I’ve been in discussion with Jewish leaders across the country and am grateful to them for their kindness and forthrightness."

From my perspective she has three problems.

First, Miller did not apologize for using the quote, but merely that her message was misinterpreted by some and then proceeds to the highly ineffective, it rarely works 'twist my words' defense.

She was not least bit contrite, admitting that it was wrong, unthinkable to have considered in retrospect using the quote in the first place. Her apology comes across with the same sincerity of a 12 year-old, who after returning container back in the freezer, caught minutes after devouring the last of Haagen-Dazs and with a smile still on their lips.

Second, she said, "I’m passionately pro-Israel and I will always be a strong advocate and ally of the Jewish community." Not one person pro-Israel, Jewish or not, would even REMOTELY consider using a quote from Hitler in political rally to support an ideal or public policy.

Finally, and most troubling point to note is in her speech she said Adolf Hitler was "right on one thing". Let's be clear, she did not say 'The only thing ...', which might have given her a bit of slack to play with if she had immediately apologized for the remark instead of waiting three days. The rub is this: If we believe someone is right on one thing, then usually we will find something else we agree with, and then another idea and another point and a ....

Miller is new on the job and we can only hope she does not repeat history yet again by quoting Adolf Hitler or any other fanatic of fascism, hate and universal evil.

Words. Freakin'. Matter. All of them.

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