Civility

Posted on January 19, 2011 by

I’ll try to restrain myself when I talk about conservatives.

I’ll refer, for example, to tea party “activists” or “militants” rather than “crazies” or “extremists.”

And – in the spirit of civility and reconciliation - I’ll acknowledge that my opponents are not wrong about everything and I’m not right about everything.

This doesn’t mean that I’m giving ground on my overall sentiment that it’s the republicans who have poisoned the well.

While this week’s house debate to repeal health reform has allegedly been toned down in the aftermath of the Tucson shootings, republican’s constant use of the term “Obamacare” is disparaging, provocative and hostile.

Nevertheless, it’s probably good form and smart politics for democrats to adopt Barack Obama’s strategy (if that’s what it is) to soothe the public dialogue.

What worries us, of course, is the president’s ongoing tendency to carve out the political center.  That’s why we reacted so critically to the white house regulatory review announcement.

But at this point I think we have to swallow hard, make the psychological adjustment to “divided government” and recognize that the dream of progressive reform in the age of Obama has been indefinitely postponed.

Comments (5)

 

  1. Think back to when you were a child for a moment (assuming you aren’t the spawn of Satan as republicans think most Democrats are, hatching from the belly of the beast). Did we or Republicans for that matter hold back in some way when engaging with one another in earlier times? I think the answer is “No.”

    I think we all need to distinguish between the discourse that ordinary citizens conduct with one another and the discourse conducted by our leaders – both republican and Democrat. What is different today is that the republican leadership has pulled out the stops on their vituperous political discourse. They then rationalize their attacks by pointing not to the Democrat leadership but to Democrats in general – some of whom express themselves about conservatives with many superlatives – and thereby justify their rants.

    I think it would be grand if the discourse by both republican and Democratic leadership became more civil. Unfortunately, once the dust settles in Tuscon, I am certain that the hostile rhetoric on the right will escalate again.

    Why?

    Because this sort of discourse is at the core of their strategy. They can’t not express themselves in a civil manner because if they did otherwise, it would force them to focus on this issues of the day in a thoughtful manner.

    While I have no intention to draw gun targets on those I dislike like my “good friend” Sarah Palin has done (Note to self: THIS is my one and only attempt at bipartisan civility), I think it is naive to pull in my horns on my political discourse. Should I run for public office, perhaps I will rethink this position. Perhaps.

  2. Jann Whetstone says:

    I know that I feel a similar sentiment towards Republicans (in general) that the majority are evil, money hungry, war mongers and beyond selfish, they think of noone but themselves, yet they hide behind the cloak of “religion”, pro-life etc etc. If in fact they were so religious and believed in life they would not let so many suffer, innocent and defenseless people; children, disabled and elderly suffer without healthcare and affordable Rx! Republicans need to ask themselves WWJD (what would Jesus do, not to get too religious) would he wage war and kill thousands of innocent people, would he let his people go hunry or cold, would he leave them to die because they couldn’t afford healthcare or RX, I think NOT. But instead these greedy people to line their pockets while millions suffer.

    Everyone is not born with a silver spoon in their mouth and day by day we watch on the news how millions of hard working lower income families suffer; losing homes, not able to afford healthcare, childcare to go to work and let’s not get on education…..

    I could go on and on, I’m sure their are some civil Republicans that are hard working and care about the next man, but overall there is only self-interest and greed!

  3. Seth Waite says:

    As a Republican myself, I don’t take any of these words as a compliment but I don’t disagree with you either.

    A lot of people on both sides of the aisle have become selfish. Instead of a country where we all work to bring peace and prosperity despite our differences in religion, ethnicity, and political view we have become selfish and unconcerned with anyone outside of our own walls.

    We too often forget to ask what is wrong and what is right and let ourselves reach hasty decisions and then execute them with carelessness. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican the greatest fear to our country is not each other but instead ourselves.

    If we don’t help our rising generation lose the over inflated attitudes of narcissism and exceptionalism our country will never recover its civility and courage. I’m not saying lets go back to the founding but instead let’s look to the future.

    I’ve been reading Lou’s blog for over a year now and just thought I’d let you know a Republican can be agreeable.

  4. Aaron Sicoff says:

    I look at it this way. Politicians are like children. Children go to a candy shop and are overwhelmed by all of the temptation of the dozens of candy available to them without thinking of the expense to their parent or whoever will be buying it. They can choose whatever they like (Most of the time).

    The politicians go to work everyday and are overwhelmed by lobbyists, campaign donations, trying to get one up on each other (accross the aisle) but they too don’t think about who is paying for their choices because it does not come at their expense.

    I think that if these politicians would take a step back and remember that they represent the greater good, The US (citizens) and then themselves we might have a more effective government. Maybe they would not waste our time and taxes on spiteful arbitrary action such as the republicans attempting to repeal the healthcare law that they well know would be vetoed by our president and would never make it through the senate. What a waste. The GOP need to accept the law.

    When they walk into the candy shop they should not be allowed to get whatever they want. Their parents (US Citizens) should speak out and guide them on their decisions. If you give a child 10 bucks and they go into a candy shop alone they will come out with no change. If their parent are with them they will almost certainly have change.

    The Politicians of this Country owe us change (in so many ways).

    Until our country wakes up and sees the problems in Washington the politicians are going to keep coming back with no change.

  5. Sue Wilson says:

    If Al Gore had acted like he was o “put upon” to compete against George W.Bush, during his diasterous campaign- we might have a different economy and society.

    If Al Gore had showed voters that he could keep the economy going strong , if he could have been humble.Everything would have been different in the last decade.

    Instead we had the Supreme Court appoint an immature man who probabaly did not
    want to be president , with power hungry minions like Cheney and rumsfeld run our beloved country.

    These imature, hateful , selfish men created a culture that said its okay to be mean,evil and kick someone when their down. Corporate america after a decade of having to be civil to its employees, saw that now they could bust them down to nothing. Outsource their jobs, so the corporate pigs could get more money and live like kings.

    These “republican politicians” tricked average americans into thinking they were “one of them”- which was a huge lie- but it worked. So now goverment & the economy are a mess & only the rich will benefit . why because they buy these politicians & that’s the problem. Justice for the rich only.

    Instead of feeling blessed and lucky for their good fortune -the rich think they should pay less taxes. Well society cannot run on “thin air” it takes money. I propose that we reverse the tax rate back to the Eisenhower era of having to pay more than 70% of income in taxes, if you made over 1 million dollars a year. The rich will always find loop holes to hide their money in, so tax them until they are on their knees in pain. They deserve it- they don’t earn most of it- they steal it under the guise of white collar crime called hedge funds and unregulated banking.

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