Dither: "to act irresolutely; vacillate," is how Webster's defines it. (Its other choices include "fear" and "trembling." )
Irresolutely does it for me, especially when you consider that at least 19 American soldiers have died in the last two days, along with three drug-enforcement agents.
Obama has had Gen. Stanley McChrystal's recommendation for more troops for two months. During that time, the White House says that he has held six meetings to discuss the report but that a decision still might be weeks away. Obama himself says he won't be rushed.
CBS News is keeping track of other things the president does. Since taking office, he has played golf 24 times and attended at least as many fund-raisers. He has made more than 30 speeches and appearances to push his health-care overhaul.
In a vacuum, those activities, spread out over nine months, would raise only an eyebrow. But Obama himself has placed the greatest weight on Afghanistan, calling it a "war of necessity" and saying we must prevail to prevent attacks at home.
Against that standard and with rising casualties, he ought to give the golf and other distractions a rest. He should spend whatever time he needs to make a decision on Afghanistan, blocking out whole days or weeks if necessary.
Anything else is dithering.
Michael Goodwin is a New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor. To continue reading his complete column, click here.