Complete harmony and sympathy…

Al Smith has been out of office for over a century, but I think he’d be right in home in politics today.  From his autobiography Up to Now, ©1929:

It was interesting to me to see how the reactionary legislator who was unfriendly to this kind of legislation would always manage to find such strong legal and constitutional arguments against it.  Always declaring in favor of the principle and being in complete harmony and sympathy with what was sought to be done, the clever debater could invariably find a way of explaining that, in his opinion, the proposed enactment would not bring about the result desired.  Although he himself had no suggestion to cure the wrong that was so apparent from the studies of the investigating commission, he could always find such legislation was either in opposition to the constitution or improperly drawn.

(Do you know what I’m never asked?  “So, what are you reading?”)


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