07 September 2011

If we can't believe you on civility...

The Anchoress has an open letter of sorts to President Obama in which she asks him if he really meant his call to a more civil speech in politics.

It seems to her - and to me - that he did not truly mean this speech because he has remained silent with members and leaders of his Party have derided others since he called for a greater civility.

The Anchoress wonders, if we can't believe him on something as simple - and hopeful - as a call to greater civility, how can we believe him on the budget, or anything else for that matter.

1 comment:

  1. The Anchoress makes a reasonable point in her post. Even though I'm an Obama fan, I would not mind at all if he called Hoffa (et al.) on the carpet for over-the-top rhetoric. I would be proud of him, in fact, if he did.

    However, I'm not inclined to doubt the president's truthfulness simply because he is not scooping up all the nasty-mouthed fieldmice and bopping them on the head. Not after very prominent members of the GOP have done everything but call the president a terrorist sympathizer (Sarah Palin) without being taken down by party leaders. Then again, Michelle Bachmann said (in late 2008, on Hardball) that Obama and his supporters belonged to an "anti-American" faction. (That was the same interview in which Bachmann said that Congress should form a committee to investigate who are the "pro-American" members of Congress and who are the "anti-American" members of Congress. Guess which party she thinks all the anti-American folks belong to!) When Mike Huckabee (generally speaking, an affable guy) made a wisecrack at the NRA convention (albeit a spur-of the moment crack) a couple years ago about somebody firing a gun at the president, I don't recall Mitch McConnell or John Boehner or Rick Perry taking Huckabee to task or taking NRA attendees to task for laughing at the remark. (I also believe it was also wrong, for the record, when a Democrat made a similar joke 20 years ago about somebody harming Dan Quayle. Lousy source for humor, especially when it's coming from a politician's mouth.) John McCain, to his credit, late in the 2008 cycle, gently corrected a fan at one of his rallies when she said Obama was a terrorist.

    I wish more Republicans would follow Sen. McCain's example. Sadly, few have. Too many of them have simply cranked up the volume and nastiness in their insult routines. (My own GOP congressman, for instance, made a point of walking out of one of the president's speeches to a joint session. When some of his constitutients complained about his immaturity, he retorted that the president had come into "my [the congressman's] house" when in fact the House of Representatives belongs not to the congressman but the American public.) It seems both sides would do well to denounce hateful or rude behavior. I don't understand, though, why the president is the only one to lose credibility points on this issue. His GOP counterparts have big shortcomings in this area. There's plenty of need for reform on both sides of the aisle.